5 Steps to coping with Anxiety at University (written by a very anxious person!)

Most of these are pretty obvious, but as the end of my first semester approaches I’m trying to figure out these steps in my own head as well, so I personally found it pretty useful to write!

1. Forget your past

Personally, I hated sixth form. After 5 years of secondary school being surrounded by friends, and knowing the name of every person in my year, moving to a sixth form with over 1,300 in my year alone was pretty daunting. I come from a very small village and my sixth form was in the middle of a city, which meant most people had already formed their friendships. The girls I did make friends with eventually got bored of me and decided we weren’t friends anymore… I didn’t get the memo, apparently.
So after two years of eating lunch alone, walking to classes alone, and getting the train alone, I doubted very much that anyone would want to be friends with me at uni. I thought there must be something wrong with me – I didn’t say cool enough things or laugh at the right moments, I don’t know!
I know some people will have had it far worse than me. Sometimes I even liked the solitude… Sometimes. Anyway, you have to put bad experiences behind you, and don’t let them get in the way of what’s going on now. The people you meet at university have no idea what your past is like; it is literally the epitome of a fresh start. Be confident because no one knows that you aren’t. Smile because no one knows you’ve been unhappy. 

2. Remember everyone is in the same boat, even when you’re sinking! 

By that, I mean that when you’re having a down day and missing home, other people are too!
Shockingly, one of my most special moments of Freshers week is when my mum and dad left. My bedroom door was wedged open while they hugged me goodbye. I told mum, ‘just get this over with quickly’, like ripping off a plaster – I’d been fearing the moment all day and had been in constant tears.
They walked out of the flat and one of my new flatmates walked in and gave me a hug. We had only met a few hours earlier, and I barely knew how to pronounce her first name! She gave me a hug and said ‘Do you need a cup of tea?’ (You will find tea becomes a social necessity). We walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on, and were soon joined by other snivelling flatmates, fresh from tearing their parent plasters off too.  So we all sat together, all telling our sad little stories of our farewells, and these stories soon turned into other stories, which turned us into fab friends.

3. If you don’t want to go out, don’t! 

You’ll probably work yourself up into an anxious mess by going, so why put yourself through it!

4. Open up to those you trust

A night out where I left early in tears led to me explaining my anxiety and depression to a flatmate I had known a matter of weeks, and I am so thankful for that. It started a bond between us and I know I can trust her when I am low. It helps you feel less alone, and you never know how similar you are to people once you open up.

5. Remember how hard you worked for this 

Joined the many Freshers taking photos..
Why should you feel sad at university? You worked your ass off through two years of A Levels for this! Every night out should feel like a results day party – this is it! Make the most of every opportunity, university is the time! Be proud of yourself for waking up with a hangover, not guilty! Mix in with university life and open up your eyes to this, crazy, crazy ride! 

I always wonder what people think of things I write on here, so PLEASE PLEASE, leave a comment!

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