Adjusting to University Life: The New Student Guide

LifestylenewsStudent life
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Your first term of university is complete, congratulations! Now you're ready to return home and share your experiences (well, maybe not everything...)

The initial weeks are a whirlwind (and sometimes a blur). Yet, as the excitement fades, homesickness or feeling overwhelmed might set in.

These feelings are normal, and we’re here to help.


Building Relationships

First off, don't be shy to join a university Facebook group or even five! It's a fantastic first step to connect with others. Visit your Student Union webpage to find out about clubs and societies available to join. Check out the upcoming events for a chance to socialise and have a great time. Get involved in various clubs and stay updated on the latest socials.

Don't forget about your flatmates, they're not only the people you share a kitchen with. For many, they're the first source of friendship, and later become the best mates you'll ever have. It's never too late to catch up and invite them for a takeaway or a late-night movie.

If you're shy, remember that everyone's in the same boat until someone breaks the silence. Try chatting with the person next to you in class or find a study partner after a confusing seminar. You'll be amazed how a shared struggle over a tricky assignment can create a strong bond!


Achieving an Academic and Social Life Balance

Achieving a balanced life can be tricky but with a bit of planning it's doable. Let's talk about time management, it sounds cliché but it's the key to balance. You don't want to be up to your eyeballs in assignments because you spent too much time partying.

Tip: Get yourself planners and to-do lists. Start blocking out specific times for studying, relaxing, and socialising. This way you'll avoid pulling all-nighters to finish essays due the next day.

Making friends and having fun is a huge part of the university experience. FOMO can hit hard something but remember that it's not a popularity contest. You don't need to attend every party.

Give 100% in classes and assignments, but also take time to relax and enjoy yourself by making time with friends.


Student Self-Care

It can be hard finding time to take care of yourself when you’re busy. These self-care tips are easy to follow and look after your mental health.

· Stay active - Fitness is not only great for your physical health, but your mental health too. Get those endorphins pumping and feel an instant burst of happiness

· Limit Social Media - take some mental time out from doom scrolling through your socials. Avoid reaching straight for your phone when you're bored. Take a breather from notifications and updates and let your mind be free wander

· Meditation - breathing exercises can calm your mind and reduce stress levels. Try downloading an app on your phone or searching for guided sessions online

· Healthy Eating - a balanced diet can boost your mood and energy levels. Take-aways are good for the soul sometimes, but too many can leave you feeling lethargic and moody

· Sleep - aim for at least 7 hours a night when you can. If you ever fall short then try to nap between lectures, you'll thank yourself later

· Talk it out - Confide in someone you trust when you’re struggling. If not, contact mental health support and get the advice you need


Coping with Peer Pressure

It's okay to say no, you don’t have to be a people pleaser all the time. Trust your gut if something doesn't seem right and makes you feel uncomfortable.

Nightlife and clubbing is a big part of student life. It's not uncommon for students to experiment with substances and binge drink. Know that you’ve got the power to make your own decisions and decline invitations. You don't have to give into peer pressure for fear of judgement.

Avoid this by surrounding yourself with people who share your values and respect your choices. Find your own personal cheerleading squad who always lift you up, not bring you down.

If possible, try and step away from a peer pressured situation. This can be difficult if it's coming from someone you thought was a friend. Peer pressure is a type of bullying and not a sign of friendship.

The next time peer pressure comes knocking, stand confident in your choice to say no.


Have the Best Time Ever

The key is to have a blast, however you define it. Here's your chance to find new interests and excel in your studies. Stay positive and be open to the amazing opportunities that are coming your way. Most will only experience university once, so enjoy it and take each new day as it comes.