Mentally preparing yourself for university...
Your first ever university experience is just around the corner, how do you feel?
Whether you're feeling ecstatic, anxious or just unsure of what to expect, that's completely normal. You're expected to have lots of thoughts and questions flying around your head.
By mentally preparing yourself for what is about to happen and what comes with this new lifestyle change, it won't come as much of a shock to your system once you've arrived...
Will I make friends?
Whether you'll make friends or not is probably going to be your biggest worry about moving to university, right? It's the thing that most Freshers worry about. It's normal - you're leaving your friends behind and about to make new ones! Remind yourself that this experience is new for everyone and every single student will be looking for a friendly face to talk to and hopefully become friends with. No matter how nervous you are, don’t hold back. Make that first move and introduce yourself to people; who knows, these could be the people that really shape your uni experience!
This is a huge transition in your life and not something you've experienced before. Student Minds, the UK's student mental health charity, understand this and have created a guide to help you to really mental prepare yourself for all aspects of student life.
One thing could do before you arrive is try and find your flatmates or course mates on the Facebook groups, this might help put your mind at rest. There are also many ways you can use social media to settle in, check out Ellie's guide here.
I'm not sure about my course...
The thought of starting your university course may be making you anxious because of the fear that you may not enjoy it. Go into it open-minded. You won’t be able to master everything straight away and you might be unsure at first, but give it time. You should allow at least a few weeks until you ultimately decide whether it's for you or not.
Also, some people just 'get it' straight away and others don't so try not to compare yourself to other people on your course. Everyone has their own pace of learning and that’s just your personal development blossoming.
One thing to prepare yourself for is feeling stressed once deadlines start. The best way to cope with this is to always allow free time for yourself. Create a timetable and make it a necessity that you have regular breaks. This could be cooking nourishing food, exercising or just watching an hour of your favourite TV show. All of these will relieve stress and restore your energy.
How will I cope without my friends/family?
Chances are that you will feel homesick once you're at uni because independence can be quite daunting for young adults and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Most students, especially during Welcome Week, will be missing home just as much as you are. It'll be hard but try not to go home straight away; you need to get used to coping without your parents/guardians. Talk to other students about how you're feeling and try to spend time with them because then you can be there for one another and it'll keep you both distracted.
If you feel like you can’t talk to other students about how you are feeling, talk to your tutors and Student Support. They will be able to reassure and guide you more professionally about how to cope.
Make sure you reach out, if you do need that extra bit of support. The UWE Wellbeing service is there to support your counselling, mental health and personal development needs.
Hopefully, that helps you get yourself a bit more prepared and gives you more of an idea of what to expect.
We can't wait to meet you - not long now!
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