If you’re currently in your final year of A Levels or you’re on a gap year, after completing them, you may be in the process of applying for university. Most likely, due to being busy studying hard, travelling or working the reality that this September you will be starting your first year of uni may not have fully sunk in yet.

Perhaps the fact just hits you occasionally when you get a chance to think about it? Or maybe it’s in the back of your mind constantly as you work towards those all-important predicted grades? You probably feel excited but also nervous, apprehensive and even scared about the prospect of starting university. Of course, these are all normal emotions.

Don’t panic! Tips for battling pre uni nerves

  • Know that everyone is nervous. Although many people put on an act of confidence, the truth is everyone is in the same boat as you, that is to say everyone is at least a little nervous. This is a completely natural reaction as starting university can feel rather like diving in to the unknown. If you can, try to embrace this nervousness as it’s all part of the university experience.
  • Do some prep to ease your nerves. This can be anything from learning to cook so you can fend for yourself, without your parents or guardians to doing some background reading on your chosen degree subject. Sometimes, knowing that you’re actively preparing for your future can help you to feel more in control of your life. This may make you feel less nervous.
  • Remind yourself why you want to start. Hopefully you applied for university because you are passionate about pursuing your chosen degree. If the whole process of applying, choosing where to go and the idea of moving away from home is doing your head in, it may be time to really reinforce why you want to study your subject, to remind yourself that all this pre uni hassle will be worth it in the end.
  • Make sure you’ve applied for the right reasons. Of course, there is a difference between being nervous about starting university and actually dreading it because it’s not what you truly want. If you’ve applied for a degree just to please your parents or because you think it’s what is expected of you then I wouldn’t blame you for feeling extremely worried. If this is the case then I’d advise you talk to someone you trust about your concerns to try to find a solution.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Not only is this generally a great way to tackle feelings of stress and anxiety but it will also remind you have people to support you in your university journey. Also naturally you probably want to make the most of spending quality time with the people you’ll be away from, if you are moving away to go to university. 
  • Get excited. Nowadays it’s really easy to connect with your university and potential course mates/flatmates etc. through social media. Take some time to do research on your first (and second) choice university to see which societies they offer, what events they put on and the research they are currently working on. Also, if you can, chat with some people who are also planning attending your first choice university via Facebook or Twitter so you can get excited together.
  • Talk to people about your feelings. Of course, you’ve probably heard this advice before but we all need a reminder sometimes to express our emotions. Even if you think your worries are silly or unimportant, don’t hesitate to talk about them anyway, whether you confide in a parent, teacher or a friend. Also, if you talk to a friend who’s also applying for university you may discover they have just as many strange or silly worries as you do.

Hopefully these tips will help you figure out how best to keep any anxieties you may have about starting university under control. Most of all, despite the inevitable jitters you will continue to get, don’t forget to get excited about all the opportunities that will be available to you when you start your degree and get ready to take the university plunge!



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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.