Tips for New University and College Students: 5 Ways to Ease Your Anxiety
You’re heading back to school for another September – but this time, you’re heading somewhere completely new.
Whether you’re moving to a new city or continuing to live at home, starting university or college can feel overwhelming.
It’s one of the most exciting times in your life – but it can also be one of the most stressful.
Here at KMA Therapy, we know that planning ahead can give you a sense of relief and control. We’ve gathered five tips to help make your first week easier.
After reading this article, you’ll know five ways to ease your first-year anxiety and start your year off successfully!
5 Tips to Ease Anxiety for New Students
These five tips can help you ease your first-week jitters.
1. Plan ahead
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably the kind of person who likes to be prepared.
(Or someone sent this to you because they know you need to spend a bit more time preparing!)
Your school will likely send out lists of what you can bring to your dorm room, and you probably already know what you need to bring for class.
But outside of preparing for where you’ll live and how you’ll study, make sure to plan out other ways to set yourself up for success.
Reflect on what makes you feel comfortable about your life now, and think about how you can bring aspects of that with you.
- How often you like to keep in touch with friends and family
- What kinds of snacks and drinks you like to have often
- What exercise routines make you feel good
- What you like to do for fun
- How much sleep you need
2. Travel on Google Maps
If you’re the kind of person who likes to search Google Maps for parking spaces before going to a new restaurant, this tip is for you.
If you’re moving to a new city for college or university, take yourself on a virtual tour of the city.
Try looking up:
- The nearest groceries stores
- Parking lots close to your classes
- Fun coffee shops or social activities
For the first couple weeks, it makes sense if you want to stay close to campus. But learning how to get around the city and learning about what exists outside of your campus bubble can be a fun way to feel more connected to your community!
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
Once you get to campus, it’s easy for your classes to feel overwhelming. In high school, almost everyone has the same educational background.
When you start post-secondary school, you’ll be surrounded by students who have a wide range of educational experience – there will be people who know different things than you do!
You might learn about topics that are brand new to you, but your classmates have been studying for years. You might end up being the expert on something you spend weeks exploring in high school.
Understand where you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you need to succeed. There are plenty of resources, from tutors to study groups, to take advantage of. Don’t be afraid to use them!
4. Ask for help when you need it
It’s okay if your stress doesn’t disappear once you’ve started school.
If you get lost on campus, don’t be afraid to ask upper year students or campus staff for help.
Most schools will have orientation leaders to help you navigate your first week on campus – take advantage of them!
It’s also normal to experience more anxiety than usual when you begin post-secondary school.
Did you know that many universities and colleges offer on campus counselling services – and most health plans offer coverage for off-campus therapists?
Remember that it’s okay to ask for help in all arenas – from class help to mental health support.
You’re not alone, and you’re not the only one who feels the way you do.
5. Get involved on campus
Another way to feel more connected to others is to get involved on campus.
While your high school may have had a limited number of clubs and extracurriculars, colleges and universities often have a ton of niche groups for whatever you’re interested in.
Plus, getting involved in campus activities and in your community can even be a great way to boost your mental health.
Next Steps for Boosting Your Mental Health as a Student
After reading this article, you know five ways to ease your anxiety as a student.
Anxiety is normal when starting school, but if it persists and affects your quality of life, you deserve the support you need to thrive.
If you ever feel like you need some extra support, we’re here for you.
Fill out our Registration Form if you’re interested in speaking to a therapist – we’ll help you explore what therapy options will work best for your needs, and how your student health plan can cover our services.
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