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Three tips to help take the stress out of starting uni

The following article is written by Jess Holsman, Deakin psychology graduate and founder of YouTube’s ‘Study With Jess’, where she gives advice to thousands of students around the world on effective study.

Today’s the day! You hit snooze for the third time this morning and force yourself out of bed, knowing that another five minutes of sleep is sadly not on your agenda. You shuffle your toes towards the other side of your room and make your way into the kitchen as you pour yourself a much-needed cup of coffee; after all, how else are you supposed to adjust to your new weekly morning routine or make it past your first double block of lectures before lunch?

While early rising may not be appealing to many students, especially after a well-deserved four-month-long study break over summer, this is not the number one concern for some:

Suddenly, you noticed an ever-expanding pit in your stomach at the thought of walking through the university gates without your tight-knit high school friendship group or even just one BFF in sight. What’s more, your mind begins to race as you start to question whether you will be able to manage the workload of a university student, let alone find your classes on day one!

Does this sound familiar? First day nerves or anxiety is really common. In fact, while not everyone can empathise with the sensation of large elephants stomping around in their stomachs, many students admit to feeling at least a handful of butterflies on the first day. The important thing is to acknowledge how you are feeling and find some ways to manage those butterflies so they don’t begin to take over, leaving you senseless and clouded by your catastrophic thought patterns.

To help take the stress out of starting university, here are a few things to always remember.

1. Help is just around the corner

Don’t be shy to ask for assistance if you are lost, nervous or unsure about something. Your tutors and lecturers want to see you succeed so they will often be willing to go the extra mile to help out when they see a student in need. What’s more, everyone at university has, at one point or another, gotten lost – take it from someone who lost her car in one of the multi-level parking lots on the very first day! Chances are, there’s a lot of new students finding their way around campus at the start of a new trimester and most of the existing students are more than happy to help a newbie out!

2. Adjustment takes time

Remember, your peers are likely feeling a little nervous too so take comfort in knowing you are not the only one who sees themselves as fresh meat! Everyone was new to university life at some point and many are not only new to the campus, but country as well. Rest assured, when you look around the lecture theatre on your first day yourself, along with your peers, are all in the same boat. Allow yourself a couple of weeks to adjust and get the hang of how things ‘work’ around campus. Familiarise yourself with the buildings, get to know your classmates, speak to your lecturers and tutors, and begin carving out a plan to help you stay on top of your workload.

3. You create your own experience

There are so many wonderful experiences waiting for you inside those university gates! With a new year, comes new adventures, learning curves and friendships that you will cherish for years ahead. University life encourages you to push yourself both academically and personally, provides you with unlimited opportunities to expand your knowledge, and is there to facilitate creating your desired future. It’s up to you to seize the many opportunities that are available to you over the course of your degree and get involved wherever possible!

Best of luck with your studies!

xo Study With Jess

Check out one of my recent videos below for more study tips and inspiration!

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