So, the hard part is done. Congratulations on getting the grades and making it into university; you are about to embark on a new phase in your life. Even if you had to go through clearing, you still made it! Now, you’re left to face so many emotions and feelings (and a ton of shopping and organisation to do) before actual making the trip there and starting university. How does one cope with it all? It isn’t easy for everyone, so don’t worry- keep reading for these ten helpful tips for students starting university!
1. Allow yourself to feel excited about starting university.
Probably the most shared feeling many students have at this time is excitement, which is completely understandable. You are starting at a new place; many of you are going to be living away from home, where you are bound to meet an endless number of new people and you will have the chance to reinvent yourself as whoever you want to be. What is there not to be excited about?
2. …But make sure you are not acting too overeager in your excitement.
It is so easy to be taken by all the excitement as you find yourself adding ALL the fresher’s Facebook groups, showing an interest in ALL the fresher’s events and before you know it you find yourself in a group chat sharing your WHOLE life story with a group of people you have never met. Whoa, slow down there.
3. Try to put yourself out there and make friends, but stay grounded.
There is excitement and there is being overeager; yes, you want to get involved and create the type of first year experience you will tell your children about but you also have to be smart about it. Remember, these are people that don’t really know you and you don’t really know them; don’t give them a reason to talk about you and ruin your experience before it has even started.
4. Do NOT spread yourself too thin with activities and meeting new people.
Try and put yourself out there more so than you normally would, but do not spread yourself too thin. Do not be that person that tries too hard to get everyone to like them because nobody actually likes that person. Don’t be the person that signs up for so many activities that they can’t even focus on just one of them.
5. You will definitely feel anxious, but maintain a positive mindset.
Together with that excitement with starting university comes anxiety. Anxiety about getting lost, making new friends, or even not enjoying your courses. Do not fall into the trap of thinking this way; approach this new experience with a positive mindset.
6. Do NOT be fooled by the act everyone is putting on.
Also, do not be fooled by the act that everyone is putting on, because it is in fact an act. Everyone is in the same boat as you; they are all trying to find their way around campus, find new friends and settle into their work. You will find friends, you will probably get lost a few times in your first few weeks, and the great thing is you have the option of changing your course if you don’t enjoy it. It is easier said than done, but try to calm your nerves and take it all in your stride. No matter how people act, they feel the same ways you do.
7. Feeling sad will definitely creep up on you, even when you try to ignore it.
Being sad is probably the last thing you would expect to feel, but it creeps up on you. As it gets closer to the date you are set to leave, you can’t help by feel a twinge of sadness in your heart; after all many of you will be leaving behind everything you have known your whole life. Your family, your childhood friends, your favourite takeaway shop amongst many things.
8. You need to face the unfamiliar and uncomfortable to make it far in life.
At times, feeling sad may make you question whether or not starting university is really something you want to do as it is such a big change. As daunting and disheartening as it may seem now, change is for the better because it helps you to grow as a person.
Facing the unfamiliar will push you to do things, you never thought you could and you need to hold this thought as you are starting university.
9. Starting university doesn’t mean you can’t take a piece of your home life with you.
Moving away doesn’t mean you can’t take a piece of your home life with you to university and with the ongoing advancement in technology you can easily stay in touch with your family and friends.
10. Listen to your feelings and emotions, but don’t let them get in the way of enjoying yourself.
Your feelings and emotions are important but don’t let them overwhelm you in the lead up to or even during your first few weeks of starting university. It could not be repeated or stressed enough but this new experience is to be enjoyed and cherished not to be as daunting as it is made out to be.