This is it; you are standing on your own two feet, beginning an important new chapter in your life. By now, you have probably already met all of your new roommates and experienced the infamous ‘freshers’ week’ (not that you can remember all too much of it anyway).
On the one hand you are excited by this new start, on the other you are understandably feeling nervous, if not more than a little anxious, and can feel your five-year-old self inside screaming for your parents. It’s completely normal, every university student has the same feelings.
If this sounds like you, then you are in dire need of the settling into university starter pack.
A Little Piece of Home
You have probably already found out that the standard university accommodation does not allow for much private space, if any at all. You are lucky if you have your own room, but it’s more likely to be a bed and desk that you can at least call your own.
Sharing such close quarters with complete strangers obviously comes as a culture shock, but remember that you are all in the same boat. Decorating your living space with memorabilia of home, such as pictures and small keepsakes will help to make your new area feel more homely.
You will soon find out that, as you grow into university life, your best friend is coffee and caffeinated drinks. Deadlines will soon pile on top of each other, and if you fail to be organised you will soon find yourself in a hole.
For those nights that you simply must study or rattle out an assignment, coffee is the gift that just keeps on giving by helping you to focus. Try not to become reliant on high sugar energy drinks, such as those that claim to give you wings. If the amount of sugar doesn’t put you off, then I refer you to The Inbetweeners — we all know what happened to Will when he thought it was a fart …
Make the Effort
When thrown out of one’s comfort zone, the desire to curl up into a ball and hide in the corner is all too real. This is, however, the worst thing that you can do. Make the effort to get to know your new roommates and other students around the university instead of staying locked in your room.
By forcing yourself to interact with those around you and making new friends, you will find that you build confidence and have something to do at the weekends and on free days instead of heading home. The worst thing that a new university student can do is to continually head home at weekends as this will only make you miss it even more.
Don’t be Afraid to Talk
University is a massive step and different people will react in different ways. If you ever feel as though something is getting on top of you, then talk to somebody rather than bottling it up. Whether it is a friend that you trust, a family member or someone at the university, make sure to discuss how you are feeling. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Fortunately, in the recent years the stigma of talking about mental health concerns has subsided, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Series such as 13 Reasons Why did wonders for getting people to speak about depression in teenagers — if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend finding the series on Netflix.
The last piece of your settling into university starter pack is to remind you to have fun. You may not realise this now, but your time at university will fly by before you know it. Embrace it, make lifelong friends and, most importantly, get them grades!