University life is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Many people start out at university thinking they are going to make a lot of friends and have a full social life. Sometimes that happens but it can take time, and even then, there are times people feel lonely.
Having left behind the close support of friends and family, it can all seem far more daunting than imagined. For some students, feelings of homesickness can occur alongside feeling awkward, isolated or on the edge of groups rather than feeling they fully belong.
It is a time of enormous change and readjustment: new lifestyles, new study demands and coping with the pressures and opportunities of greater independence. This can be a challenge even for those who are normally confident.
Follow these tips to help prepare you adjust to university life:
- Stay on top of university work
Attend all your classes and complete your assignments and coursework on time.
- Devote time to studying
Make sure you get off on the right foot with your course and tutors by devoting time to studying. Get ahead with your reading if you can, so that you are fully prepared to engage in discussion when attending lectures and seminars.
- Take some time out to get to know the campus
It’s important to know where things are. Having more knowledge of your area will make it easier to cope, as you’ll feel more acquainted with your surroundings.
- Connect with others
Remember that you’re not alone – others are feeling overwhelmed and anxious
too. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings and talk to others.
- Take some time to make your room look nice
Having a room that feels like home can sometimes be all the difference. Put up pictures, hang decorations, put a nice fluffy blanket on your bed – the comfier you feel, the better!
Change might seem scary and intimidating at first – but don’t worry; give yourself time to adjust to new surroundings.
While you work on getting into your new routine, feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster is common and expected. It is important to take good care of yourself. Remember to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise and develop a schedule and identify places and times of day for you to study and relax.