New beginnings and starting university anxiety

Postgraduate students studying

For many of us, September brings with it a time of transition.

You may be starting university for the first time, going into your final year or beginning postgraduate study. Or perhaps, you have a friend or family member starting school or moving up to high school/college/university.

All these transitions can bring with them a range of emotions – excitement, apprehension, the re-emergence of old fears, and the creation of new ones. We may find ourselves worried that things will be the same as school (especially if that was a bad experience), that we won’t be able to do the work, or that we simply won’t fit. So why do we take on these new challenges and put ourselves out of our comfort zones if it comes with all these additional worries?

To answer that, stop for a moment to think about all the best things that have happened in your life so far.  Maybe your answers include excelling at an exam, starting a new job, getting your driver’s license, and going travelling. The likelihood is that all these events have involved taking significant risks –bad test results, redundancy, a failed driving test, and a lost passport. So, were the risks and worries worth it? If you consider it one of the best things to happen in your life, then surely the answer must be a resounding YES!

As you begin university or return to your studies this year remember that it is NORMAL to feel worried and overwhelmed during this transition. None of us are immune from self-doubt (including lecturers!) So, as we reassure our friends, our family, our colleagues, that ‘they can do it’ and ‘it will make them stronger’ let’s try to afford ourselves the same kindness.

As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “If you don’t risk anything you risk everything”. You’ve got this.

Explore our course pages to find out more about our Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in Health and Wellbeing.

Written by Nina Patterson, Senior Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing