With starting a new university course, moving away from home, living independently for the first time, and living with new people, it is understandable and very common to be feeling anxious or worried about beginning a new chapter of your life!
I have gone through the undergraduate process myself and faced some mental health challenges along the way, but I overcame these and am now studying a master’s course!
So, I thought I would share some mental health reminders that might be helpful for the new freshers.
You are not alone
This might sound cliché but it is so true that everyone is in the same boat! In my experience, everyone is very eager to make new connections and friendships in the first few days/weeks of university when everyone is still settling in!
On the first day, once my parents had dropped me off at university, I was one of the first people to move into my student accommodation from my flat so I started to feel lonely very quickly. However, once people started to move in, I quickly felt this ease and offered to help people bring bags up to the flat to try and form connections quickly!
Even if you have moved to a new city, it doesn’t mean you have to leave behind your support network from home! I planned a visit with some friends from home to come to Lincoln within the first month of my moving into uni. This way I had something to look forward to in the first few weeks but also allowed myself time to form new friendships with my new flat and coursemates!
Remember to be proud of the progress you have made
Getting into university had been a long-time dream of mine for as long as I can remember, I wanted to follow in my sister’s footsteps and attend further education as this was not something that was accessible to our parents.
However, in the upcoming weeks before attending uni, my focus was on my A-Level results and then the anxiousness about moving cities and leaving my friends and family behind!
I really wish I had taken more time to be prouder of my success and achievement and all my hard work to become a first-generation university student in my family!
My advice is to try and flip the negative statements in your head if possible. Instead of saying ‘I have to move home soon and start afresh’ try and adjust your statement to something more positive such as ‘Due to my success I get to live out a new experience!’
Your best is good enough
Coming to uni was the first time I’ve had to start something new and live independently so I had to learn to be patient with myself whilst I figured new things out such as cooking and navigating a new, unfamiliar city.
Just being patient with yourself and allowing yourself some time to figure things out will allow your first few weeks to be much more chilled, do not put so much pressure on yourself to have everything figured out!
Regarding cooking, before coming to uni I made sure I could cook at least 5-7 different but basic meals so I could have some variety within the week, but once I became more comfortable with cooking in the first few weeks I began to try out new recipes and got the hang of them!