If you find yourself struggling to settle into your new university life, you’re not alone. Even change that is good can still be challenging. A new day-to-day routine, new subject to study, making a home for yourself in a different place, meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings... These are big things in themselves; experiencing them altogether in one hit, you may be feeling pretty overwhelmed! Whatever you feel, it’s OK to feel it. Everyone handles change differently, but at times like these we all need a little help to adjust to a new situation. Learning through these times helps to set us up for life.
Adjusting to change takes time and pro-active patience. Don’t worry if you’re feeling uneasy, we’ve compiled a quick list of some things that can help:
Reset your expectations
One of the biggest reasons change can be more challenging is because of our expectations. It’s probably unintentional, but you might have expected things to pan out a certain way. It’s worth taking a moment to think - what did I expect to happen?
Did you think you would feel more settled by now? How did you picture that? Perhaps you haven’t found that friend you were hoping to yet. It’s helpful to become aware of these expectations in order to line them up with current reality; this helps us to accept things and find the next step forward.
Handling the emotions
Things can become unclear for us when we feel insecure and anxious, and sometimes our own reactions can scare us. Giving your feelings the outlet that they need can help you to accept them. If it’s feeling intense, take some time to get everything out on paper and chat with a person you trust; it’s ok to call home if this helps! You are still between two places right now, wherever your safe space is, that’s OK. Don’t feel you have a safe place? Come and find us in the AUBSU office - we are really happy to listen or you can get in touch with Student Services.
Be Proactive & Patient
Once you’ve identified your biggest challenges, think about what helps you feel safe and secure. Bring those into your new routine: committing to a daily shower or planning a coffee break. Plan some things ahead of time and try to be flexible (this can be hard!). Plans can help you to alleviate worry and let you to focus on the day-to-day things. Be patient with yourself, you won’t get it all ‘right’ at once.
Embrace the new
Fear can make us retreat and close in on ourselves; take small steps to boost your confidence. Smile at someone, or have a line ready for that conversation. If you’re feeling strong, help someone else settle in - treat others the way you would like to be treated. You are about to discover many new things, be open to learning more about yourself and those around you. No one has it all sorted, embrace the unexpected for all the good things it can bring.
Keep talking and keep an eye on the official aubsu_matter Instagram for more content over the year, especially about worry and anxiety.