30 August 2017

Starting student life: Tips for quelling those pre-uni jitters

You've been so busy getting the grades, confirming your course, arranging accommodation, applying for student finance and packing, it's only now that you're beginning to feel anxious about starting uni.

This is totally normal, especially if, like most students, you're leaving home for the first time. But don't panic. Here are some things you can do to help yourself settle in.

Before you arrive, connect on social

Lots of universities now encourage new students to use social media to connect with people in their year, on their course and in their accommodation before they even arrive on campus.

Check your uni welcome email to see if they've set up a Facebook group for new students and use it to seek out fellow course and house mates. You may even discover a few people who live near you that you can meet up with locally before you move to uni. To keep up with what's going on, follow your university on Twitter and Instagram too.

Dive into those first few days

To get the most out of uni life and ensure that you have no time to feel homesick, throw yourself into everything the campus has to offer from day one.

Don't sit in your room. Introduce yourself to the people moving in along your corridor, suggest a group of you go and figure out the local public transport, wander around campus, check out the uni bar, go down to dinner together, or if you're in self-catered digs, try cooking a meal en masse. And, once your course starts, arrange meet-ups with fellow classmates, even if it's just hanging out in the library together.

Not everyone will become your forever friend, but you'll help each other through that initial stage of exploring the unknown and a few could become lifelong buddies.

Make the most of Freshers' Week

Freshers' Week, the week before lectures and studying begins for real, is all about helping first-time students (or 'Freshers') settle in. Head to the Freshers' Fair to join societies and meet people with similar interests. From the LGBT society to the Latin Dance group, the Rowing team to the Real Ale club, you name it, chances are you'll find a club to fit.

You can also expect club nights, comedy evenings and gigs during Freshers' Week. Going along is a great way to break the ice with new friends, just try not to go overboard.

Keep an eye on the budget

It's easy to go on a spending binge in the first few weeks of uni, getting in the drinks, eating out a lot and buying tickets for every event going. But carry on like that you'll have no money left for the rest of the term. Work out your weekly budget, divide the money you have to live on by the number of weeks it should last you and try your best to stick to it.

If you do have a week when you spend more than expected, why not consider our FlexStudent current account which is totally fee-free and the overdraft could be a useful safety net to have. (Account opening criteria apply).

Dealing with homesickness

When you get some time to yourself, it's natural to feel a pang of longing for friends and family back home. But there's plenty of ways to virtually transport yourself home; use your phone to stay in touch, and friends and family are bound to come and visit you soon.

If you do find yourself feeling down and you can't seem to shake the feeling off, arrange a chat with the student counsellor through your uni's student counselling service, or even give the Samaritans a call.

Don't worry, the first term will go quicker than Usain Bolt out of the blocks, and when you finally get home for Christmas you'll probably be missing all your new uni mates too.

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