Someone meditating in a leafy area

Self-care tips for first year students

Starting university is a time of massive change.

Moving away from home, for what will be for most of us the first time, trying to get to grips with a new city, new people and a completely different way of working than school or college would have expected of you.

Sometimes a change like this can feel like it’s shifted the ground out from underneath your feet, so this list is here to help anyone who needs some help getting your footing right again:


Whether you’re at the other side of the country or only half an hour down the road, being at university comes with homesickness from time to time. Luckily there are a few quick things you can do to stave off the feeling; bringing home comforts, keeping in touch with anyone you miss back home and getting out of your room to explore this new place you now live. This will help you to get out of that head-space and start feeling more at home where you are.

Taking time for yourself

Set aside a good amount of time, maybe a night or so a week or a couple of hours before you go to bed, where you give yourself a proper break; both from Uni work and these new responsibilities. Giving yourself a dedicated amount of time where you can check in with how you’re feeling and properly decompress will get you into the right head-space to approach life more rested and more positively.

Accepting how you feel and being kind to yourself

If you feel like you aren’t coping well or adapting well to the change, but everyone you talk to is managing just fine, you can start to spiral into thinking you’re weaker or not cut out for this new way of living. It’s really common to feel you’re struggling with such a huge change and adapting can take a little time. To help you feel more comfortable, don’t beat yourself up and instead let yourself feel however you do, and then work through it constructively.

Getting organised

You don’t have to have half your life colour coded to be organised, just doing a handful of small things to help out your future self can help reduce your stress levels so much. Making lists of seminar topics and weekly reading, or getting bags or outfits sorted the night before so you get an extra 5 minutes in bed the next morning will help you feel more on top of your day and keep you ahead with Uni work.

Figure out what you want from uni

At the end of the day, you’re at university to have your own experience, there is no deadline on making friends or a minimum amount of nights out you have to go on to have ‘succeeded at freshers’, you’re never too late to try something out. There are so many events held through the Uni and so many opportunities to meet people, find what clicks for you and go for it.

If you are struggling at all or need any advice and support during your time at university please get in touch with our Wellbeing team.

Give our Fresher Take podcast episode on homesickness a listen too if you need any further information.

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to Government advice and the University of Lincoln for the latest information.

Share this story...
Related Posts
Best of: Being confident
Thumbnail of a girl smiling, next to a globe covered in flags of the world, saying 'Being an international student at Lincoln'
Being an international student at Lincoln
Second year review
Resources to get you through a second lockdown