Can your style of accommodation have an impact on your mental health? According to a new survey, yes, it absolutely can.
Life at university is filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and self-discovery. Although we often think about the stresses that daily academic life and personal challenges can bring to students, we don’t often consider the role their living situation can play in maintaining their wellness.
Student accommodation provider Scape has partnered with Year13, an Australian post-school advisory service, to release a Gen Z Wellbeing Index – a deep dive into the mental and physical health of over 1900 Australian students and Scape residents.
The study has revealed some fascinating insights into how your choice of accommodation can impact your mental health. Let’s dive in and take a look at the findings.
The Gen Z wellbeing index: An overview
In a study undertaken in May 2023, Scape looked into the lives of thousands of young adults to explore the relationship between student accommodation and wellbeing.
Over 1,000 young Australians and 900 Scape residents aged between 18 and 24 participated in the survey, with a near-even demographic of males and females. The index gathered responses from students representing diverse backgrounds and educational pursuits, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to their overall health.
The survey asked a wide range of questions related to mental health, safety, support networks, diet, exercise opportunities and social engagement. Scape residents’ responses were then compared with those of young Australians not living in student accommodation, to see how living situations affected health and wellbeing.
The findings of the survey reveal a strong correlation between the choice of student accommodation and mental health outcomes. The experiences and living conditions during the formative years of university can have lasting effects on emotional wellbeing.
Among other results, the survey found:
- Scape residents experienced lower rates of anxiety, low self-esteem, social anxiety, depression, loneliness and panic attacks than the national average
- 74 per cent of Scape residents say they feel a general sense of inclusion and belonging in their everyday life, compared to 71 per cent of young Australians
- 41 per cent of young Australians say are struggling to make friends, compared to only 33 per cent of Scape residents
It was also found that Scape residents are more likely to engage in healthy behaviours, including:
- Cooking daily and most days of the week
- Getting 8 hours of sleep and waking up fresh and energised
- Connecting enough with family and friends
How can student accommodation benefit your mental health?
The survey’s findings point to the significance of student accommodation in creating a safe, healthy environment for Gen Z students. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key mental health benefits you can reap from living in student accommodation.
1. 24/7 Security
Living in a secure environment is essential for peace of mind. Student accommodation providers prioritise safety through robust security measures – including security cameras and security grade building access – helping residents to feel protected at all times. This sense of security directly impacts mental wellness by allowing students to relax and unwind without worrying about potential threats.
2. Around-the-clock support
Reception staff play an important role in supporting students – particularly international students – as they navigate the challenges of university life. Access to guidance and assistance whenever needed can lessen stress and anxiety, helping students feel more in control of their experiences and decisions.
3. Physical activity
Student accommodation providers often have on-site exercise spaces and sports facilities. Regular exercise is linked to positively affecting mental health by reducing stress, boosting mood and enhancing cognitive function. Having these amenities available makes it easier to exercise and maintain both your physical and mental health.
The Gen Z Wellbeing Index highlights the crucial role of social engagement in maintaining mental wellbeing. Living in student accommodation facilitates socialisation through organised group activities, excursions and themed parties. This interaction can counteract feelings of isolation and loneliness – common challenges faced by young adults in unfamiliar environments.
5. Healthy eating
Proper nutrition is closely linked to cognitive function and mood regulation, making it an essential factor in students’ mental health journeys. The facilities in student accommodation often make it easier to cook for yourself, with communal kitchens making cooking with friends fun, or having a kitchen in your room for very easy access.
Based on the insights from the Gen Z Wellbeing Index, it’s clear that having a successful international study experience isn’t just about academics – it is strongly connected to the spaces we call home.
Image courtesy of Scape Student Living.
Are you ready to find a living arrangement that improves your sense of mental wellness? Scape Student Living is the perfect place to start. Designed with students in mind, you’ll find everything you need to feel safe, calm and at home throughout your studies.
Read the full Scape 2023 Gen Z Wellbeing Index Report here.