As we come to the realisation that autumn is upon us, many students, especially freshers will begin to panic about university life. But really your first year at university should be the best, as many freshers actually don’t know that your first year does not count. Well, it technically counts, as you must pass first year to get to second year, but your first year is not included in your final grade, so you definitely shouldn’t stress yourself out!
Here are 8 of the best ways to deal with stress as a Fresher:
Once your university’s Freshers week begins you will probably forget all about potential assignments and grades, and just enjoy yourself while you can.
Most universities across the UK have a Freshers week, where everybody can bond over unidentified shots until the early hours of the morning, which results in finding a best friend who will watch your favourite Netflix shows and cry in to your hangover food with you.
Even if you are not much of a drinker, you should try to attend a few of the events at Freshers week, as that is where you may find friends for life, or at least for the rest of the year.
Give Yourself Some TLC.
It is so important to look after yourself at university, which may be a daunting task, as it is probably the first time you have lived away from home. But if you don’t look after yourself, then that will impact your health as well as your performance at university, so make sure you learn how to cook if you don’t know how to – watch some YouTube tutorials or buy a cookbook, try not to live on pot noodles.
You should also make sure to get enough sleep, which may be hard when you are balancing a social life and attending morning lectures, but you should try to get at least six hours of sleep before a day at university.
Doing all of this will also improve your mood, as a balanced diet and a great sleeping pattern are proven to promote positivity.
Also, be aware of the dreaded Freshers flu, you definitely need some TLC if you get it.
Another way to reduce stress or anxiety is to exercise, whether that means joining a social club, as most universities have a variety of sports groups including: running, dance, yoga, football, etc.
You could also join a gym, as most universities have free passes for students, therefore you do not have to worry about any gym memberships affecting your bank balance.
Many cities across the UK have a variety of yoga studios you can attend, which have student memberships. Yoga and meditation is one of the best ways to relax and reduce your stress levels, without having to endure a vigorous workout, unless you want to then there are a variety of challenging classes you could try.
As a cheaper option you could exercise from home by watching yoga or workout videos on Youtube.
You may find it difficult in the first few weeks as a Fresher; balancing a social life, university, and even financial responsibilities. But it is important that you do not take on too much. You have to make sacrifices, and try not to give in to peer pressure by going out, and finding yourself with barely any money to survive the rest of the month.
Often, Freshers will join various social clubs whilst attending university, and realise they have taken on too much, but don’t want to let anyone down. Don’t worry about that, think of yourself, you do need to stress yourself out by attending every one of the social sessions, regardless of what the president of the club says.
Plan Your Budget.
This may sound like such a grown-up job, but it has to be done, if you want your money to stretch to the end of each month.
You could ask your parents, or anyone who has attended university to help with this. You should start by writing down your ingoings and outgoings, which will help you come up with a weekly budget for food shopping and bills, then you can decide if you can afford a night out or treat yourself to a bit of retail therapy.
Doing this will reduce your stress, and help you balance your priorities. You will find yourself finding the best bargains, and saying “How much?!” every time you buy something. That is when you become a ‘real’ student.
Plan Your Assignments.
Usually at your first lecture you will be given a module handbook, or access to an online platform to access your assignments. It is important to look at this and schedule a plan of action to complete your assignments, instead of doing what everybody is guilty of, last minute laziness.
You can ask any graduate, and they will probably admit to doing an all-nighter to complete a 2,000 word essay due the next day. This is not healthy, and will definitely bring more stress in to your life, so avoid doing this if you can. As no one wants to be sleeping in the library.
Everybody has a tendency to compare themselves to others, but this is not healthy, and is definitely not productive in a university environment.
Before university some students may have been at the top of their class at school or college, but at university they may struggle. This is completely normal, so it is important not to look at your peers and think they are adjusting to university life, when in fact they are probably feeling the same as you.
Speak to your peers, and ask them how they are finding it, some may not give an honest opinion but others may be feeling the same as you, and you can help each other. You should always remember that everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, so something you may find is a walk in the park, others may struggle with.
Even if you are not prone to anxiety, it can creep up on you without realising, especially in new and pressured environments such as university.
So, if you do find yourself being overwhelmed, tense, unproductive, and feeling like you can’t cope then you should not block it out. You should speak with someone whether that be your parents, tutors, or peers and tell them how you are feeling, as they all may offer you some advice, especially your peers as they may relate to the way you are feeling, and your tutors can assist you if you are in need of extensions or advice.
It is more important now than ever to speak up, with the diagnosis of anxiety and depression on the rise, you shouldn’t let your time at university be ruined by suppressing your feelings, as it should be the best time of your life!
What do you think of our 8 best ways to deal with stress for Freshers? Let us know if you have any more suggestions in the comments below.
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An aspiring journalist from Liverpool passionate about Yoga, Dance, Fashion, and Travel.