The Anxieties of Your First Year

Rebecca and friends outside BBC London

Starting university can be daunting, trust me with an anxiety disorder I had thought up nearly every worst case situation. I was terrified of moving into halls because I can be quite quiet and don’t really like going out and I was terrified of getting a loud flat of people that go out every night, getting drunk, being noisy and then throwing up and making a mess in my kitchen (see I told you I had thought of everything).

It’s anxiety I bring with me into my second year as I go back into halls, my same flat with different people is going to be weird because each cupboard and kitchen belonged to a friend and I was so lucky with the flatmates I had this year. Maybe I will get noisy flat mates this year but I am better prepared to dealing with it. The best advice to moving into a new shared flat is prepare to talk openly about your issues. If someone is not washing up and making a mess then you need to tell them they need to start pulling their weight. You share the flat together and ultimately if you don’t keep it clean you will get fined so you need to work together to keep it nice for all of you!

You will grow with your flat, you hear the term multiple times for the next few months but you are all in the same boat and that will help you bond as a little mini family. Be prepared for noisy nights when you are sitting in your room annoyed because you just want to sleep and they are singing loudly in the corridor. A big tip would to be invest in a good pair of sound proof headphones, they block out nearly all noise! Put something relaxing on and you will be asleep in seconds!

I was terrified of going out when I started uni, it’s still something that causes me a lot of anxiety but I have managed to cut down on the need for my panic attack meds over the year. Try taking it in small steps, I started off with the smaller events like OMG’s Transmission nights in the LRV and then one night somehow ended up at Friday nights Refresh! You can do it and push yourself into it if you want to try it, even if it is just once. You don’t need to worry about making sure you go out in your first week, your flat mates won’t care if you don’t want to go and there will be plenty of time for it in the year.

Now the important stuff, work and assignments (can see why I get called Hermione now?). It’s not as overwhelming as you think it will be. Yes it’s a degree but it’s not super difficult work that you can get swamped under by if you are working hard enough! Make sure you have a good communication with your lecturers so that if you are feeling like you might be going under a bit then they can help pull you out. Establish good habits in your first year like going to the library regularly and working outside your classes. This is going to come in so handy with assignment writing AND will be so helpful in the second year when your grades begin to count, because you will know where to find all the books you need and already have that base knowledge!

Ultimately try to enjoy your first year as much as possible and don’t let the stress get to you. It’s a life changing year in your life and it will be over once you blink! But if I can tell you anything, from a complete worrier is that it is a lot easier than you think it is going to be. You can spend these months stressing, like I did but it’s not needed because you will be fine and do awesome and you will look back wondering what you were ever worried about to begin with!

Rebecca
About Rebecca 24 Articles
Currently studying Radio Production

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