With all the excitement around starting Uni, one thing’s a given. It’s going to be a big change. A shift in your surroundings, routine, and who you see and where, can give you a boost, but it can also be a source of stress.

So throwing all of these changes into the mix, like say, when you start University, can feel a bit much, to say the least.

YoungMinds, one of our charity partners here at Arma Karma know this better than anyone, as they provide young people with tools to look after their mental health. So, before you berate yourself for not being a “new, more confident” version of yourself, or not having the Fresher’s experience you imagined, we’ve rounded up a few articles from YoungMinds to let you know that you’re not alone in feeling anxious.

Don’t put pressure on yourself

Jasmine’s first year of Uni didn’t go quite as she’d hoped. Mainly, she was expecting her new independence to come with a big dose of confidence. When that didn’t happen, she battled through her first year with feelings of depression and loneliness.

While the experience was isolating, Jasmine accepts that she wasn’t alone in how she was feeling, and this was one of the things that helped her.

If you’re struggling with changes and low mood at Uni, always ask for help. Take a look to see what’s available at your place of study, and check out the resources below Jasmine’s story to access free support from YoungMinds and other charities.

Otherwise, Jasmine’s other tips include listening to loud music, go for a walk, get lost in a book, and reach out to your friends back home. You never know, they might be experiencing the same thing.

Still think it’s “just you?”

YoungMinds have got some stats that say otherwise.

  • One third (33%) of students surveyed felt lonely often or all of the time
  • Almost nine in ten (87.7%) students struggled with feelings of anxiety
  • Over three quarters (75.6%) of students hid their mental health symptoms from friends.

The charity has put together a guide that signposts towards help on campus and feature tips for self-care.

Remember that moving is hard work

Maybe your first year is done and dusted, and you’re lining up your new digs for round two. Even if you think you don’t have a lot to pack up, the boxes soon mount up as you get going, and the magnitude of the task ahead becomes clear.

Rachel found it helpful to remind herself that moving is a big undertaking, and so you shouldn’t put time pressures on yourself to “get it all done.”

After speaking with someone at YoungMinds, Rachel ditched the deadline and took longer to unpack.

“I’d been putting pressure on myself to be fully unpacked the next day, but after the call, I took my time and, although it took five days in total, I’m now really happy with my room”, she says.

In her story, Rachel also suggests preparing for what lies ahead and trusting your ability to cope.

“I think going in with a mindset of “this will probably be quite hard but we’ll get through it” is really helpful in a situation like this, and is good to remind yourself of if it all becomes a little too much.”

Not everything has to change

While everything might seem different in your move to Uni, or just even a new place, there are always things that you can hang on to. That’s Louisa’s advice, who lists TV shows, precious items from home and favourite music among the things that can stay as is.

She also suggests opening up to those around you, or if you’re not comfortable in doing that, maybe write your thoughts down. Remember that whoever you speak to might be feeling exactly the same way as you, and could feel relieved that they’re not alone.

With so many opportunities to be spontaneous as your daily routine is chopped and changed around lectures and a busy social diary, take time to rest and relax. After all, as Louisa rightly points out, change can be draining. Go easy on yourself.