6 tips for adjusting to student life

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Education

University is an enriching experience in every way, but a student’s first days on campus can be daunting, to say the least. It’s never easy being a long way from home, and harder still if you don’t have many people and are unfamiliar with the area. As difficult as it seems, once you’ve navigated the first week or so, campus life becomes much easier.

#1 Join a society

Often, when students make friends when they arrive on campus, societies come in all shapes and sizes. Budding actors might find their feet in a drama society, musicians will flock to music groups, and, of course, there are plenty of sports societies on offer. When you arrive at a university like Marian University Wisconsin, societies are your gateway to like-minded students with a shared interest.

#2 Join a study group

From the last point, study groups are a fantastic way to get to know people on your course. They have the tangible benefit of helping you to focus and keep your studies on track, all the while assisting with the process of making friends. Moreover, study groups don’t have to be extensively planned. Even a simple trip to the library with a small group can form lasting bonds.

#3 Don’t worry about nerves

This is the big one. Regardless of their life experiences, everybody feels nervous when they first set foot on a university campus. This is a seismic change, so it’s only natural. Some people choose to beat themselves up over their nerves, though, or let those feelings of trepidation stop them from meeting new people. Nerves shouldn’t be a barrier. Instead, acknowledge them, understand that they’re natural, and then throw yourself into the campus life regardless.

#4 Get enough sleep

It’s easy to overlook as you search out new friends and opportunities, but sleep has never been more important than during your first few weeks at university. Tiredness leads to feelings of anxiety, stress, and even depression, all of which are exacerbated by being far from home in new surroundings. If you’re tired, you’re also more likely to miss lectures and seminars, damaging your academic career before it’s even had a chance to begin. So whatever else you’re doing, make room for a solid 8 hours sleep.

#5 Get to know campus first

If you’re in a new city, it’s tempting to get out and explore as soon as possible. Before you do that, though, get familiar with the campus. Learn where the main shops are, the routes between accommodation, to and from lecture theaters – there’s a lot to digest, but it’s all-important. This is particularly useful when you eat out. Campus food tends to be far cheaper than that found elsewhere, so you’ll save some cash and keep that student loan intact for a little longer. 

#6 Seek help if you need it

Regardless of how you throw yourself into university life, it’s inevitable that there will be moments of loneliness and homesickness. That’s natural, but if these emotions become particularly difficult to manage or you simply want to talk, always reach out for help. Universities are more conscious of mental health issues than ever before, so they have extensive support networks in place. Bottling up negative emotions only worsens, and sometimes, all you need is a friendly ear to help.

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