Coping with the challenge of transitioning to university
You have probably heard this before but I will say it again just in case there was any doubt – being nervous before coming to university is perfectly normal! In fact, those who are not tend to be the minority. It may be that you begin feeling nerves only a week before or possibly a few months before. The point is, what you have to do is tell yourself and accept the fact that this is a perfectly normal response and it certainly does not mean that things are going to go awfully when you arrive because they rarely do. Before I came to university, I worried that I would not get on well with the people in my accommodation or that I would find it difficult transitioning to university-style learning. Yes, of course, there are challenges and some find the transition easier than others. But persist, be patient and in all likelihood, everything will fall into place.
The first thing to remember if nerves start getting the better of you is that whatever happens when you arrive at university and whatever emotions you are feeling, there will always be support available to you. It is certainly not the case that as soon as you arrive at university, you will be left out on your own. Wellbeing Services at Warwick are really supportive when it comes to first years who are trying to transition to university life. Just talking with them can help to solve a lot of things but they will also give advice on what measures you can take to make yourself feel more comfortable. So that is the first thing – you will never be left on your own without any support!
A big thing about coming to university is that most of you will be moving away from home for the first time. This can be scary and this definitely made me feel anxious. But I found that although you may feel down at times, try and get out and involved with as many things as possible during Freshers. Go to the society fairs, socialise with people in your accommodation, go out for meals and hopefully, what you should find is that this will not only distract you from your negative emotions but also help you to integrate more into university life which should make you feel more comfortable in your new environment. My advice, if you are someone who thinks that moving away from home will be difficult, is not to sit in your room for long periods of time pondering. The best thing to do is to be active and social.
Getting started on your course can be stressful too. It may be that you are worried about the content itself or, as it was for me, you may feel that there is a lot to take in initially. There will be module registration, seminar sign-ups, talk about CATs and all the rest. The key is not to become overwhelmed by all of this. Although there is a lot to take in initially and you will find that you are not used to the system, spend time first thinking about what it is that you have to do. Make a list prioritising the things which are most urgent. The one thing I would say is that you should set up alerts on your phone from the MyWarwick app as this will mean you will see notifications as soon as they come in and it will help you to sign up to seminars as soon as they become available which is good because these can fill up quite quick. Spend time familiarising yourself with the system and you should find that everything begins to make sense. Don’t panic! But if you do find yourself struggling, the office for your course will be very helpful in getting any queries or issues you have resolved.
There is so much to learn (not just academically) when you come to university. Although it may feel overwhelming and you may feel anxious, try to relax and don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it! When I first came to university, I did not have a clue what I was doing when it came to cooking, shopping and doing the laundry. But all of these things quickly become routine and remember that university is a place to have fun and enjoy yourself so make sure you get out and get involved.