Beat the uni blues

Students and counsellors reassure the new intake of freshers that with a few home comforts settling into university life should be stress free. Often it is your first experience away from home, in new surroundings and with no familiar faces around but the structure of university life brings students together.

Counsellor Paul Lindemann talks about starting university and the solutions to settling in. “The feelings tend to diminish as the person becomes more connected,when the lessons start they become more focused, become connected and make friends. The transition from where they came from to feeling they have a place here is a natural process.”

New students are urged not to feel isolated and are encouraged to seize the opportunities that university brings along. | Photo: ULPO

Student Sophie Bowler encourages Freshers to force themselves to get involved in as much as possible and talk to everyone. “Its too easy to hide away but you need to make the effort to be more outgoing so you aren’t left feeling alone,” said Bowler.

Most students feel some anxiety during freshers’ week but it is important to remember that once the routine of normal university life begins with lessons providing more structure this generally wears off. It can be tricky to balance social life with work and another issue that students could encounter is feeling pressured to continue a course they dislike. Paul Lindemann said: “I think it’s very important for students to do what they’re interested in. We learn better when we are interested in something.”

Sometimes university isn’t what you expected because you have prepared for it for so long and it seems everybody is settling in without you. This is perfectly normal and research says that 70% of students feel homesick and with the drop out rate nothing like this figure be assured that at some point it will eventually pass.

Fine Art student Sarah Farrell gives advice to students starting university after completing her first year “Go with an open mind and don’t worry everybody is in the same boat as you are. Just enjoy yourself but don’t forget about the work as that’s the reason you’ve come to university. Lucky for me I knew someone already before I started, so I was able to meet her flatmates and befriend them. As far as my course goes everyone was very friendly by the end of freshers’ week I felt at home,” said Farrell.

There is nothing wrong with getting a little encouragement and guidance whether it is from Student Support, relatives or friends to ensure you feel at just like at home when at university.

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