How to Beat the University Nerves

AFS Team·24 July 2018·5 min read
How to Beat the University Nerves
By Elizabeth Whittingham

It’s summer, and all you can think about is starting university.

Although plenty of your emotions are probably positive ones, for the majority of first-time students, there is always a definite edge of nervousness to the whole idea of starting further studies in a brand new city surrounded by complete and utter strangers.

So, if you’re struggling with these feelings- here are some top tips on how to beat the first day nerves!

Firstly, remember that everyone is in the same boat as you.

It’s easy, when starting university, to think that everyone around you has it ‘together’- when the truth is that the vast majority of your fellow students will be just as scared and nervous as you are!

It’s important to be kind, polite and understanding- hopefully you’ll get the same in return!

In the grand scheme of things, starting university is an incredibly exciting time- so focus on the good stuff- picture heading out with friends, movie nights, funny pictures, dancing, sleepovers and cooking flat meals together.

Focusing on the positives really helps to banish your nerves.

Divide your time evenly.

Although your time at university can be overwhelming at times, all that is needed sometimes is an evening by yourself in your room, maybe watching a film or skyping friends and family from home.

Although it’s not good to do this every night- you don’t want to isolate people- having a night a week to yourself can be a great way to control your nerves.

Don’t rely too heavily on the adrenaline of fresher’s week.

Fresher’s week can be a whirlwind of emotions, there is not denying that, however- investing too much energy into it all can definitely make for a massive return to reality the second the week of celebrations is over.

It’s important, whilst enjoying the week of partying, to remember that this is not always going to be what university is like. Head to the open days, information talks and campus tours, or else you will have absolutely no idea what is going on by the time you start attending lectures.

It’s also good to invest time in other activities rather than partying during fresher’s week. Although heading out for drinks is often the first option for many friendship groups, having a movie night here and there can really help to make you more comfortable with your university pals and will also help to lessen the nerves- it will also come with less of a morning headache and less of a reality check the second fresher’s week is over.

Get yourself into Facebook group chats.

Weave your way into everything early!

As soon as you find out which university accommodation you will be staying in, head onto Facebook and get yourself added to the Facebook group! They’ll be plenty of opportunities to get chatting to other people in the group as well as old alumni who will be there to answer all of your questions, however strange they may be!

Facebook groups are also a great place to find out about up and coming events at your chosen accommodation, as well as social nights, bar crawls or activity taster days!

Master the small talk!

Although it may seem like a terrifying thought at first, if you want to make some friends at university, you’re going to have to put yourself out there by introducing yourself to others and starting up some conversations.

The trick is to just take a deep breath and introduce yourself to someone- remember, everyone is in the same position!

It’s super important to remember that you are not alone.

Although there might be some people at university who appear to have their life completely together, it’s important to remember that some people are simply better at hiding their nerves than you!

Eat healthy and exercise! Although these two options won’t appear at the top of your priorities during the summer, research has shown that a bad diet and lack of exercise can exacerbate nervous and anxious feelings.

When we eat healthy we really do feel better within ourselves, maybe get some new friends to cook a meal with you to banish those nervous feelings for good!


Sometimes, starting university can be rather intense, with plenty of invites and requests, it can be stressful to attend all of the social events.

The most important thing to realise is that there is no real pressure to do anything you do not want to do- attend what you feel you can attend and if you do catch the fresher’s flu (it’s inevitable!) then recognise this and take some rest.

Other great forms of relaxation and self-care can be a pamper evening, you can maybe do this with friends to help the nerves, yoga, meditation or a classic nap!