When you come to University, there is so much change – often a new town or city, a new living environment, new people around you and, of course, a different way of learning too. You have to adapt to all of this eventually, and although it may take time it will probably happen quicker than you expect it to.
Getting to know people, the place that you’re in and the course that you are studying will all help you to feel more relaxed, in control and aware of what you’re doing and why you have come to University – reminding yourself of this helps.
Give yourself time
Don’t expect that by the end of your first week you will feel completely settled, have found your feet and a close-knit group of friends for life as this rarely happens, and even if it seems that way on the outside about others, it most likely is not the case. Instead, make sure that you appreciate how large a step it is and lean in and gradually get used to it. Be in the moment rather than thinking about what should have happened yesterday, or last week because you can’t change it now; or what is going to happen tomorrow or next week as you haven’t had the opportunity to do it yet. Often at Uni plans change or opportunities crop up at the last minute, and sometimes jumping at these chances can be the best things for growing and learning.
Do what YOU want to do
At University it’s very easy to get swept up into what seems ‘normal’ and similar to what everyone else is doing, but sometimes following others can mean that you lose yourself and who you are. Instead, don’t feel bad about being different, embrace it; and the more you stay true to who you really are, the more settled and at-home you will feel.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Rather than hiding, be yourself and your personality will shine through, more than likely leading you to the people that are most like you: share similar interests, views, opinions and would accept who you are. And, finding friends and people who you can talk to and trust is really one of the best moments at University; where you can truly feel comfortable and at peace. A way to find these people is to get involved with something at University – a sport, society, volunteering or project that you’re interested in for example, where you will find like-minded students. Also, course mates will be similar to you too so don’t forget them.
Bring home to Uni
Not in the literal sense, but if you have a few pieces; say pictures or room décor or even a teddy bear, that remind you of home and make you feel more relaxed, bring them along with you as their presence may help you to feel some sense of normality and comfort you. Going to University doesn’t have to mean you create a new persona – you’re still your parents child! Don’t forget about your friends and family at home, who at the moment know you the best. Keep in touch with them so that you don’t feel disconnected after moving away – not much has changed for them compared to you and I’m sure they’d love to hear how you’re getting on, and help if you’re struggling.
Don’t think of it as temporary
It is true that University terms are shorter than school ones and before you know it, you’ll be home for Christmas, but don’t wish the time away and decide not to properly settle, as you are here for a long time and it is like a second home! So, take the time to fully unpack, decorate and create a homeliness in your room. It’ll mean that you’ll want to spend time in there and feel settled rather than in limbo.
I hope that this post has given you a few tips to help make University feel more like home – be yourself, gravitate towards your type of people, and don’t be afraid to speak out if you’re struggling! Someone will likely feel the same as you, or a professional will have experience and be able to help and support you.