Starting university can be a daunting experience for anyone. So if you’re feeling out of sorts about the whole experience, you’re not alone. There may also be an extra sense of unease if you’ve moved away from home. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you successfully transition into a new environment and to make the adjustment to uni life hopefully that little bit easier.

Stick to the basics

Sometimes routines can get disrupted as you adjust to a different environment. Focus on getting some healthy and balanced routines in place, which will help you to function at your best. Getting enough sleep is vital to ensure you have enough energy in order to learn, and eating healthier foods, such as your daily intake of fruit and veggies, can help you to stay focused.

Exercise can often become abandoned when major life changes occur and starting uni is no different. Try to set out an exercise routine that’s manageable for you and schedule it in at regular times throughout the week. Trying out sporting clubs or joining exercise classes through your uni can be a great way to combine exercise with socialising.

Developing a study schedule is also extremely important and can help you to manage your uni workload. Setting time aside for study every day can help you stay on top of things and prevent a last minute rush to finish everything on time. Try to balance this with making time to do the things that you enjoy, and try to do at least one pleasant activity each day.

Feeling homesick

Being away from family and friends that you may have seen every single day can bring about feelings of homesickness. You may even wonder if you’ve made the right choice moving away, but there are things you can do to help overcome the feeling of missing home.

  • Think of all of the new opportunities and the freedom you have as you navigate the beginning of your adult life and write a list of all the things you want to experience.

  • Think of the times where you’ve been away from your support network and try to pinpoint what helped you to get through those times.

  • Make a list of all the reasons why you chose to study at your university as well as the opportunities they could lead to in the future.

  • Try and immerse yourself into your new uni life by joining clubs and going to events.

  • Keep in touch with friends and family back home. Staying connected with people who care about you can help you feel grounded and supported while you settle into university life.

Finding friends

Finding meaningful friendships can be hard and they don’t magically develop overnight. It can take time and effort to form new friendships, but it can help to know that you’re not the only one trying to cultivate a solid friendship group at uni. Make efforts to connect with others, even though it might feel daunting. Set yourself some concrete achievable goals, like challenging yourself to talk to someone new each day.

Remember that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable at first, it means that you are stepping outside of your comfort zone into a brand new environment. Try your best to experience new things and make the most of your time at university. But if you find that you’re struggling for longer than usual, or if you notice anything that concerns you, seek out support either through your university services, a psychologist or chat with Sonder who can help provide support.


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from Boston University.

Image credit: Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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