How I got over my Freshers’ nerves
Like most other Freshers, I was incredibly nervous before starting uni. For a Fresher student moving into halls, leaving friends and family and diving into unfamiliar surroundings, nerves are all part of the package.
My first night was especially nerve-inducing. On finding out that none of my new flatmates would be going out to the Welcome Night at our campus club, I ventured out alone. However, even before leaving my halls building, I was met by a crowd of Freshers who encouraged me to join the group. I felt my nerves subsiding already. Despite the heavy basslines and darkness of the club, I managed to get talking to a few other strangers who are now friends: on this night and many others during Freshers’ Week.
To help control your nerves and stop them from negatively impacting you, I suggest a few tools. It only takes a few small steps to turn unfamiliar and nerve-inducing surroundings into your new home.
Music can be a great mood changer: be sure to make a playlist of your favourite songs or songs that remind you of your friends and family, and play it in moments of nervousness. My flat was extremely quiet in the first few weeks, which doesn’t help nerves, so playing music was a relief from that. You could also invest in a speaker so that others will hear your music and be tempted out of their rooms. Music is a great conversation-starter.
Blank walls and empty shelves can be intimidating; bring some knickknacks from home and get decorating! Decorations like photos, fairy lights and bunting will make your new room feel homelier. I spent the majority of the first weekend at uni just decorating my room, and I felt a lot better for it.
A small gesture like leaving your door open lets your flatmates know that you’re friendly and willing to engage. Whether people strike up a conversation or just smile as they pass, it will give a good impression.
I brought some beers with me to share with my new flatmates. Sharing food or drink to make friends is an old trick, but it certainly works! I would definitely recommend bringing something to share around. Making friends within your immediate environment is an easy way to quell those Fresher nerves.
I also recommend bringing a pack of cards to uni and getting your flatmates together to play. Playing cards is a fun and easy way to bond. In my flat, we soon realised that we were all very different people with individual interests and backgrounds, but playing cards brought us together and helped break the ice in the first week.
Once you’ve introduced yourself to your flatmates, it’s a good idea to go around knocking on the doors of other flats. If it’s a few of you, it might make you feel more confident than going alone. Remember, as everyone keeps telling you, it’s important to talk to as many people as you can. The more, the better. You may not ever see them again or remember their names, but the more conversations you start, the more confident you will become in future. Plus, you’re bound to find a few great friends in the crowd, so go for it!
Good luck, Freshers. With these tips, and maybe a few of your own, you will get over your nerves in no time.