You’ve been anticipating moving out for at least the last month. Excitement, nerves, longing to finally flee the nest. And then the door closes as your parents leave- you’re in a strange room in a strange city with… strangers. The reality finally hits.
We’ve all been there. Sat sobbing on our beds wondering why we’re actually here, and I can guarantee you are not alone.
So what can you do to get through this? I’m going to try and skip the obvious (call home, hang up pictures etc) and provide actual tips on how I dealt with rather extreme Fresher’s blues. Hear it from me – if I got through it, so can you!!
More articles on Freshers week:
- Leeds music and clubs guide
- If I could re-do Freshers I would…
- Film for fodder: your ultimate film and TV Freshers guide
- Be brave and make the effort. I very vividly remember crying into my kitchen cupboard as I desperately tried to rearrange my obscene pan collection into something that also needed to house my pots and glasses. I felt so lonely, despite there being 4 other people in the flat, so as scary as it was I sent a message into our Facebook chat asking if anyone would like a cup of tea. We all ended up coming out and chatting.
- Take something to share with your flat mates – for me it was a big tub of celebrations and a pack of cards. It’s a great ice breaker and something nice too.
- Learn to cook. With online university, you’ll probably have more time on your hands, so make the most of this to learn to cook some recipes from home. Do it alone or with your flatmates, but I can guarantee there’s nothing better than being able to enjoy a hearty meal that tastes a bit like home.
- Provided pubs are open, don’t go out every night if you don’t feel like it. Wild – I know. Sometimes, I’d just sit with my flat mates or go to pre drinks to socialise with people, but then have an earlier night – and my flat mates were absolutely fine with that! It’s so important to keep good mental health, particular at a time of natural high anxiety, and if you’re feeling tired and groggy all the time you’re not going to get started off right.
- Keep some routine like you would at home. If you read a book every night or have a cup of tea at a certain time, try to keep that up for a bit. It’s good to be adaptable but having some routine can make the change feel more “normal”.
- Join societies! The current situation is far from ideal which may mean joining societies is more difficult, and an online Zoom meeting with a group of strangers isn’t so appealing. Remember that when things return to normal, you’ll still have the society, and this can act as a great distraction from worries and concerns about home. I found one of my closest friends at a GIAG (give it a go) session I was almost too scared to attend. We found we had more in common than politely pretending to look interested in something we actually had little interest in.
- Talk about how you feel. Fighting back tears isn’t easy and can lead to you feeling more isolated. At the end of the day, you’re going to be spending an awful lot of time with the people you live with, and you need to be able to be honest; which leads me nicely to the final point…
- You do you. I’m such an advocate of this, and in Freshers week people often put on a front, whether that be trying to impress others or just being too afraid to be themselves. You’re never going to be happy if you feel that you can’t be yourself. At university, there are so many different people and you need to be accepted for who you are. Be yourself and let people love you for that.
Remember, you are attending university at such a strange time. You’re doing amazing.