Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting experience, but it can also bring its own challenges. Even though it's natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed during the first few weeks, it’s important for students to realise they’re not alone and everyone is in the same boat. Here’s 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!
Talk To As Many People As Possible
One of the scariest things about the first few weeks of university is not knowing anyone. That’s why it’s so important to remember that you’re never going to be alone in trying to make friends- other people will be looking too, so don’t be afraid! We recommend talking to as many people as possible during freshers’ week and try to remain friendly and approachable- even if this feels slightly out of your comfort zone. Once you’ve made an acquaintance or two, don’t stop there- try knocking on some nearby flats and introducing yourself or maybe attend a busy freshers’ event. It’s also important not to feel disheartened if you don’t immediately bond with your flatmates or anyone else you meet. Friendships do take time, so take the pressure off yourself- just think about how long you’ve known your friends from home!
Remember, It’s Okay To Say No
Freshers' week and university life is often associated with the pressure to drink and the misperception that you need to drink to have fun. This can cause a huge amount of worry and anxiety for new students. Remember it’s okay to say no to alcohol or a night out. In fact, many university Students' Unions have loads of freshers’ week events which are neither associated with nightclubs or alcohol, so seek these out and get involved.
Explore Your Surroundings
In your first week or two, it’s an excellent idea to get to know your surroundings. Start by having a wander around your halls, find the laundry room, reception area etc. Then think bigger- check out your route to university, find somewhere that will be convenient to do your weekly food shop and explore the local area. The sooner you get your bearings with where everything is, the sooner you’ll feel right at home!
Get Involved And Keep An Open Mind
There’s going to be a whole load of activities to get involved in during freshers’ week, so be sure to get involved as this will be a great way to meet new people and start feeling like part of the university community. The freshers' fair is always a great place to start as you can see what’s on offer, sign up to a society or sports team that interests you. It’s also important to keep an open mind of what’s available and don’t be afraid to pursue anything that interests you- even if it’s a bit quirky.
Remember You’re Never Alone
No matter what happens in the first few weeks of university, you have a whole three years (or more) to enjoy the experience. Even though some friends will come and go, remember that you're never alone. There are services attached to all universities that are there to help you if you do feel low, sad, lonely, depressed or anxious. Never be afraid to reach out and perhaps even take the time to familiarise yourself with the process of using these services sooner rather than later. There’s no shame in getting help and more people will do this than you’d expect.