A FIRST YEAR university student who was "top of the class" took her own life after becoming overwhelmed by the stress of her course.

Keana Dippenaar, who was found in her University of Southampton halls on December 8 last year, also had worries about making friends and sustaining relationships, Winchester Coroners' Court heard.

The 18-year-old psychology student's brother Drake said during today's inquest that his sister was "very, very smart" but "hard on herself" and was worried that she wouldn't be able to achieve what she thought everyone expected of her.

It was heard that Keana's body was discovered in her room at Richard Newitt Court by friends who became worried after she didn't show up for a Christmas dinner held in the same building on Glen Eyre Road.

Daily Echo: Keana Dippenaar and mum, Carlene DipKeana Dippenaar and mum, Carlene Dip

After knocking on the door several times just before midnight – receiving no reply, they forced their way into the room worried about their friend.

However, Keana was found hanging.

Emergency services were called, but the 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police officers told the inquest that five notes were found.

Coroner Jason Pegg recorded a conclusion as death by suicide.

Keana's brother Drake added that despite her sister's feelings of "not being good enough" throughout her academic life, she would always "ace her exams".

"I always said to her that it was not about what people expected of her but just what she could do," he told the inquest.

"She was very hard on herself but even so she always pushed through it and aces all her exams.

Daily Echo: Keana, left, with her familyKeana, left, with her family

He added: "One of the teachers at her uni said she was doing exceptionally well; that she was top of the class."

Paying tribute, her mum Carlene described Keana as the most gorgeous, bubbly, friendly and caring daughter.

According to her mum, Keana loved Korean pop music, films and culture, and had even taught herself the language.

The teen, originally from Essex, loved reading and always wanted to write a book.

Following her death, friends rallied together to set up a fundraising page and help the Dippenaar family with funeral costs.

One friend commented on the page: "Will always remember your beautiful big smile."