For new students trying to navigate their first semester and year at university, we have some tips to calm those nerves, help you settle into university life and be confident on campus! Every uni student knows too well the first semester jitters, the mixed feelings of uncertainty and the excitement that comes with it. Starting university can be challenging, but these tips can help you feel prepared to take the leap.

1.Familiarise yourself with the campus

Make sure you familiarise yourself with your campus at the beginning of each semester. Walking around campus to discover potential study spots or cafes to get your essential daily coffee is a great way to start feeling comfortable at uni. Everyone feels lost on their first day (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), so ensuring you know where you’re going helps you feel confident and have a smooth start to the semester! College campuses can be daunting, and buildings are spread out, so the last thing you want is to be late to your first class because you’re walking around in circles trying to find room 210 (speaking from personal experience). Locating the specific rooms and buildings for your classes beforehand is a great way to be prepared and organised. This means less stress to ensure you can do your absolute best! 

2.Make the most of what the university can offer

Universities have so much to offer, so taking advantage of every opportunity is the best way to maximise your uni experience. Most universities have market days at the beginning of each semester; they are a great way to learn about any extracurriculars available. From clubs and societies to professional industry events, market days are the perfect place for all activities at uni. You never know how beneficial they will be; you might find friends with the same interests, network with academics, or simply push yourself out of your comfort zone and build up your own skills. There is so much you can do at university besides just attending classes that will help you accelerate in your chosen studies or personal interests. 

3.Stay on top of your uni work

Procrastination is something we all know too well, pulling many all-nighters trying to finish an assignment due the next day. It’s so easy to fall behind on your coursework in the first semester or year, especially since you’re still getting used to university processes and assessments. University is mainly self-directed, and motivation is key to staying up to date on your work. Ensure you read the course profile often and know all important dates and assignments. I know everyone says it, but it really is so beneficial to keep a comprehensive calendar or diary. It really is so helpful to set out a physical copy and look at all the important dates in one place. Writing out specific study guides for assignments or coursework is a great way to ensure you never leave an assignment until the last minute. 

4.Don’t be hard on yourself 

The transition to university can be difficult so you must prioritise self-care and look after yourself. Don’t put pressure on yourself, and take regular breaks when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Not having everything figured out and changing your courses or program is normal. Make sure you utilise the mid-semester and mid-year breaks to recharge and rest when possible. Take time to relax, see your friends and family, do your hobbies and step away from uni if you need a break. Your grades do not define you; try your best and remember that university isn’t everything. 

Starting university can be intimidating, but following these tips will help you enjoy your first year, be confident, and make the most of your university experience!