August 10, 2023

How to Calm Your Nerves If You Have First-Day Jitters

Your first day at university can be nerve wracking. For many students, it means being far from home, family, and friends in an unfamiliar environment. You’ll need to establish a new routine, which involves developing your independence. Plus, you’ll suddenly be confronted with new viewpoints and ways of thinking, especially in your classes. You may have thrived in high school but suddenly feel out of your depth at university. The good news is most students will be feeling like this and there are proven ways to recover your calm on your first day.

1. Take Your Time

The first step is to acknowledge you’re feeling anxious — and to embrace it. You may even like to admit you have the jitters to people you meet. Letting your guard down can help others feel more comfortable around you and may make conversations easier. Work on becoming more at home in your new environment by interacting with others and exploring the area, but feel free to retreat to your bedroom if you find all the activity on campus overwhelming after a while.

2. Determine Why You Feel Anxious

To start easing your anxiety, you need to find the source. There are several reasons why you may be nervous — it could even be a combination of factors. For example, you may be concerned you’ll be lonely if you struggle to make new friends, be worried about being away from home, or be questioning if you made the right decision about where to go to school and what to pick as your major.

As soon as you know what is bothering you, take steps to show yourself it’s not actually a big deal. This could involve striking up a conversation with other students, calling your parents in the evening, or talking to an academic advisor about your options.

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Whereas it can help to take things slowly, you do still need to push yourself to try new things to make the most of your time at university. Attend campus events, sign up for interesting electives, or perhaps try an extracurricular you’re not even sure you’ll like.

You don’t need to do all this on your first day — or even your first week. In fact, you’ll see the most benefits if you continuously challenge yourself. By stepping out of your comfort zone regularly, the small things that used to make you afraid will soon seem like no big deal.

You’ll feel more confident if you know other students before your first day. You can meet people by searching for off-campus student housing. For rooms to rent near Carleton University, there’s the Revalie. We have community areas where you can socialize, including the clubhouse, courtyard, and terrace lounge. If you want to use exercise to relax, you can also use our 6,500-square-foot fitness centre, which has a yoga and pilates studio, free weights, and cardio bar. When you live at the Revalie, you can ask to be matched with roommates who have a similar lifestyle to you or rent a bachelor apartment to yourself. Book a tour to see the community amenities and apartments.

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