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Coping With Starting University

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NU chapter.

University, for most school graduates, is something they have looked forward to for years. For many people, it means new adventures, new friends, new connections, new lifestyles, and a chance to grow and experience things you have never had before. While university life is all of that, it is also draining, exhausting and tiring and it’s easy to feel differently about it when you actually get there.

So, Is the university experience exciting? Absolutely. Can it be overwhelming at first? Unfortunately, yes. Far too often, graduates go into their first semester of university with certain expectations. When reality starts to hit, those overwhelming feelings can take over. Many students can’t handle the schedule, the pressures, and the responsibilities of university when they go into it unprepared.

So, here are just a few tips for students on how to cope with freshers’ nerves and ways to make the first few weeks as great as possible!

Approach, Don’t Avoid: University life is difficult, and many students learn to manage their stress by avoiding it (skipping class, spending the whole day in bed, etc.). We do, however, know that avoidance usually results in anxiety becoming worse over time. Instead, practice approaching situations that make you anxious by taking small steps. If you’re having trouble in class, consider contacting the professor for assistance. If you feel lonely, try talking to your benchmate in class, or introduce yourself to someone in the mess.

Prepare in Advance: Preparing as much as you can in advance is one of the best things you can do to prevent feeling overwhelmed while attending university. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, but by going the additional mile to prepare, the transfer will probably go much more smoothly. Research and know about your campus. Schedule a visit, if possible. Download tracking apps to keep a check on your academics throughout the semester.

Practice Self-Care: Maintaining your physical and mental well-being is essential to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge. Take breaks when studying, practice mindfulness or meditation, and find healthy ways to manage stress.

Build A Network: Not knowing anybody during the first few weeks of university is among the most terrifying experiences. It’s crucial to keep in mind that you’re never going to attempt to make friends alone since other people will be doing the same. So, don’t be afraid! Connect with fellow students, join clubs or organizations, and attend social events. Building a supportive network of friends who share similar interests can provide a sense of belonging and make the college experience more enjoyable.

Manage Your Time: Effectively managing your time is crucial at university. Create a schedule that allows for dedicated study time, attending classes, and taking breaks. While it’s important to focus on your academics, remember to maintain a balance in your life. Allocate time for hobbies, socializing, and self-care activities that bring you joy and help you unwind. Balancing your commitments will prevent burnout and enhance your overall university experience.

Ask For Help When You Need It: While university is probably the beginning of your adulthood, remember you are not expected to know everything already. If you find yourself consistently feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your transition to university, don’t hesitate to seek help, from family, friends, or professors.

No matter what happens in the first few weeks of university, you have a whole four years (or more) to enjoy the experience. Even though some friends will come and go, remember that you’re never alone. You are going to make mistakes, mess things up, hurt people, or get hurt, but that’s alright. It’s a new journey, you will learn slowly while you traverse through it.

Good luck!

I am Megha, and as the poet would say - I exist.