Every Monday, firstpoint publishes our top five tips on a topic related to life at university. We’ll cover a wide range of topics such as making the most of your time at university, help with your studies, working through the challenges of communal living or maybe looking after yourself during exams and assessments.
firstpointFIVE008 – Settling into student life
Now that you’ve been here for a few weeks, you’ll be starting to settle into your student life. If there are things that are troubling you or maybe just don’t feel quite right, don’t panic; it’s not that unusual and you’re not alone. There is lots of help available…
Tip 1: Homesickness
Starting university can sometimes feel a little daunting at first. Don’t worry, many people feel the same! Missing family, friends and your familiar surroundings can make you feel homesick, even if you’ve been looking forward to coming here. It’s not unusual to feel homesick during the early stages of university and you might be expecting that but it’s worth remembering it can happen at any time.
Try not to shut yourself away; talk to your new friends, old friends and family about how you’re settling in. Find out more about your new surroundings – getting used to things can make it easier as it helps you to feel more at home. Don’t forget you can meet with our Student Support Advisers who are here to listen and will be happy to provide information, support and advice for all students at any stage of their university career.
Tip 2: Can’t we all just get along?
Communal living can be both fun and challenging. In the beginning, sit down with your new flatmates and work out your expectations of living together. Discuss how you want the communal area to be kept and how the tasks and responsibilities should be shared – knowing what to expect from each other will make things run more smoothly.
Talk to each other calmly if issues arise- getting things sorted at an early stage can avoid problems later on. Compromise is often the key to living harmoniously and nobody likes a noisy neighbour, so be kind, nice and respectful to each other – a little goes a long way.
It’s important to remember that living together can be a great way to socialise. You’ll meet people from different areas and cultures and you can make friendships that will last a lifetime.
If you need help to resolve problems or you’re just not sure how to start, our Student Support and Wellbeing Team can provide help and support; you can make an appointment to see one of the team via firstpoint.
Tip 3: Join a society through the Students’ Union
Would you like to try a new hobby, unleash your hidden talents, find a new passion or indulge in what you already love? Being part of a society welcomes you in to a family of like-minded individuals and is a really great and exciting place to make new friends. Being part of a society means you could gain experience and learn transferable skills which will boost your CV and help you to stand out from the crowd.
There is an A-Z of all current societies on the SU website. If you can’t see one that you like and you have a few friends who share similar interests – why not set up your own?
Tip 4: Counselling and Mental Health
We want you to enjoy your university experience and to learn and develop to your full potential but we do understand that sometimes, things don’t go according to plan.
Why not book onto the workshops running over the year which cover things like Managing Anxiety, Settling into Uni, Procrastination, Perfectionism, Exam and Assessment Stress, Life after Uni or Mindfulness? You can book your place here workshops and groups
You may feel you need some specialised support to help you through more challenging times and it’s important to know that you’re not alone. People talk to counsellors about all sorts of things that are preventing them from being who, or how they want to be. You can arrange to speak confidentially with one of the team by making your own referral for an appointment online. You’ll find some great tips on how to help yourself and where to find more information too. Find out more about this and other support on their website.
Look out for events taking place at the University for the World Mental Health Day. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and how we can all look out for ourselves and others.
Tip 5: Out of Hours
The University has a Security Team that assists students, staff and visitors to the University 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They work closely with the local community, including the Police, to provide a constant presence to all and we also have two PCSOs within the team.
Whether you are a student on or off campus, you can access them if you have any personal safety concerns. Find out more about the team on their webpages.