Recognising the changes
Starting university is a big deal, it is a lot of change all in one go. It can mean changes in environment, in living situations and in social circles. That’s a lot of new things. It’s okay to recognise this. Particularly if you are introverted like me, it was helpful to recognise that it will take a lot of energy to get used these changes without friends and school environment I was used to.
That’s not to say you can’t find your places at university, it’s simply important to recognise that change can be uncomfortable, at least to begin with. So, remember: it does take time. It’s finding pockets of joy that keep you going and trusting that things will come together. What I mean is that sometimes it is okay to not be loving uni but that finding joy and distraction from those difficulties emotions can make all the difference for you being able to fight through those hard times.
Outside the university bubble
The things that can help distract you can be things outside of the university sphere. In fact, one of the most importance lessons I learnt at uni was that university is not everything. You have an identity outside of that, you have a life outside of university and you have people that are important to you. So, one of my big tips would be to invest in things outside of the university bubble as well. This might be through working or volunteering, travelling or visiting nearby cities and keeping in contact with family and friends.
Do university your way
We can often focus on what we don’t have or look at others who have things we want. I remember sitting alone in lectures and feeling like everyone else had someone and I didn’t. This often isn’t true, and though I didn’t always have lecture buddy, that didn’t matter because I found other spaces where I fitted in. Most importantly I did it in my way. A lot of people talk about clubbing, drinking, or getting involved in countless societies. These ideas and expectations don’t matter. You do. So trust yourself, you know what your interests are, follow these to find your people. Don’t feel like you have to fit in to a mould, you find your place when you focus instead on being your authentic self.
It is a journey, and it is ongoing, but you are not alone. You can feel lost in the crowd at uni but you are one of a kind and can find your own inspirations and ways of expressing yourself.
Blog written by Dorset Mind Your Head Marketing and Social Media Assistant Alice Billington.
If you are struggling with transitioning to university, we have a wellbeing check in service where you can talk to someone every week about your experiences. This can be done over video call at a time to suit you. Find out more on our website.