Whether this is your first time away from home or you are going back to study after a break, starting university is a time of great change.
Even if it is exciting, change is not always easy to cope with. The first few days can be quite bewildering and it’s not unusual to feel lost or lonely.
How can I help myself?
1. Build in time to chill out
Make time to relax with music, read the paper, take a hot bath or whatever you like doing. Make sure you get enough sleep.
2. Expect to be nervous
Everybody is finding their feet, however cool and confident they may appear. Anxiety at this stage is completely normal and if you do not find your lifetime friends in the first fortnight, you are certainly not alone.
3. Maximise the chances of finding people you get on with
Go to things you know you will enjoy. University is a great opportunity to explore different interests or change your image. Don’t feel you have to keep in with the crowd at all costs.
4. Don’t beat yourself up
Don’t worry if you’re not always at ease socially, or if you say or do something you later regret. Learn whatever lesson is there for you, then forget about it and move on.
5. Don’t feel pressured into doing things you don’t want to do
Whether it is spending more money than you can afford, using drugs, having sex or even just going out when you are already exhausted, you do not have to do anything if you don’t want to.
6. Don’t bottle up problems
7. Be organised from the start
Think about how you divide up your time and get clear how many hours a week of academic work you need to put in. This will help make the most of your free time.