It’s completely normal to feel butterflies in your stomach when starting a new job, turning up to a party on your own, or sitting an exam. So, it shouldn’t alarm you that you feel nervous for your first year of university. Rest assured, you’re not the only one who feels this way and this is totally okay.
First things first, you’re one of thousands of other students who will be packing their bags and leaving home to take on a new adventure. You’re also one of thousands of students who will be feeling that enormous amount of pressure. More often than not, people will tell you that “University will be the best years of your life”. Granted, you’ll graduate with bags under your eyes and a tendency to stay up until 3am. But it’s true, you will leave university with bagfuls of memories and stories that you’ll want to keep forever.
Yet right now, this doesn’t stop you from thinking about the what if’s, and the do’s and don'ts of university life...
That’s why these 5 hacks will help ease your mind, so you can wave goodbye to the little man inside your head telling you that things won’t be okay.
1: Look at what you’ve already accomplished,
It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. Chances are, you’ve already overcome a number of fears and faced so many challenges. So, what’s new? Remember all of the times that you doubted yourself and how it actually worked out better than you imagined. You were probably ridden with angst when sitting exams to even get into university but look at you now. You made it! It’s natural to forget how strong you are, but you’re braver than you realise. Even Beyoncé gets worried. Ever thought about that?
2: There is no ‘right’ way
As humans, we always worry about doing things the ‘right’ way. Truth is, there is no ‘right’ way. It doesn’t exist! Everyone's on completely different paths. Some people have ten friends, some people have one. Some people have a university degree, some people have none. There is no timetable to figure everything out. Everybody’s university life is different. This is so normal. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you’re not partying 24/7 and also acing your grades, then you’re not doing university right. University is the chance for you to grow, in ways other than having ‘perfect’ grades or the ‘perfect’ Instagram photo. Take each day as it comes and follow in your own footsteps. This is your journey, nobody else's.
3: The proofs in the pudding
Let’s face it, if university was as scary as you’ve made it out to be, nobody would go. But hey! Every year, new students enroll. Every year, new graduates want to go back. Why else do you think they introduced postgraduate degrees? Once it’s all over, nobody wants to leave. And let’s be honest, life without student discount is pretty naff. The proofs in the pudding, this new adventure ahead of you is not the thing of nightmares but the thing of dreams - just like a fresh strawberry pavlova.
4: Friends should make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better
One of life’s main worries is not having enough friends, let alone when you’re starting university. But it’s not about how many you have, but who you have. As you know, friends come and go. It’s the ones who stay that matter. Don’t worry, everyone will be friendly to you, after all everyone’s in the same position. You will never be short of friends. All you have to do is surround yourself with the ones who make you laugh so hard and smile so big. Remember, they will be your support system throughout the next few years.
5: What worries you today, won’t matter tomorrow
By the time your first semester is over, you will look back and wonder why the hell you ever worried! On the upside, you will have got through your first term of late nights and 9am lectures. On the downside, you’ll probably have a tonne of deadlines ahead of you. Funny thing is, you’ll be worrying about these and not about your first day at university. Keep reminding yourself that what worries you now will soon be a distant memory.
From one student to another, I’ve been there! Every student has. No one has a conventional university life, but that’s the fun of it. Every day is different. So, don’t worry, things are never how you imagine them to be.
Change your worry into curiosity and your angst into excitement.
You’ve got this!
Thanks for writing for us Zara!
Early twenties, five foot something, with a tendency to day-dream. It’s safe to say, Zara believes the sky isn’t the limit. Wearing a smile on her face and her heart on her sleeve, Zara chit-chats about life’s ups and the downs! Look to her as friend or follow her on insta @zaravictoriax, on Twitter @ZaraVictoriax or on her blog Zara at Home.
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