How to Ease First-Day Jitters


Your first day at university can feel a bit daunting. You’ll need to figure out where to go for classes, talk to a bunch of people you’ve never met before, and generally navigate a whole new life. This can lead to anything from mild jitters to full-blown anxiety. Wherever you fall on this scale, there are certain things you can do to ease your nerves.

1. Remind Yourself That Everyone Feels Like You

Although some students are better at hiding their feelings than others, almost everyone will be anxious on their first day. It will take a while before faces become familiar, but you’ll find that the conversations gradually become more natural — and you’ll be making friends before you know it.

2. Find All Your Classes Beforehand

Never wait until right before a class starts to figure out where you need to go. A good strategy is to walk around campus a couple days beforehand, figuring out how to get from one class to the next. You’ll feel much more confident knowing that you’re unlikely to get lost or arrive late.

3. Ask Your Professors What You Need for Class

To avoid wasting your money, it can be worth waiting to buy textbooks until you’re sure that you’ll need them. The downside of this is that it’s anxiety-inducing to even contemplate the fact that you may neglect to bring something you do need. The solution is to message your professors in advance to ask them what books and other materials to bring. An added advantage to doing this is that you’ll also have introduced yourself to your professors before you meet them.

4. Remember That You Can Drop Classes

It’s often difficult to know what to expect from a class by its description alone. If you turn up to a class only to discover that it’s not what you expected, consider dropping it. Do this by the deadline and you may even be able to switch to a different class without incurring any fees. If you’re unsure how to drop a class, reach out to your academic advisor — student services exist to help you navigate university and ensure you have a positive experience.

5. Set a Bedtime

Sleep is an excellent way to calm you down. Aim to go to bed by a certain time on your first day of university — it will mean you feel better prepared for the second day. In fact, it’s a good idea to stick to a bedtime every night (or at least on weeknights) to stay healthy. Getting enough sleep regularly will work wonders for preventing anxiety over the long term.

It’s easier to settle in at university when you have a comfortable home to return to at the end of the day. An alternative to Ontario Tech University residence is Foundry Simcoe. You’ll have your own bedroom, an en-suite bathroom with either a shower or deep soaker tube, and high-speed internet to complete your homework in peace. Book a tour to check out where you could be living when you start university.

Return to Main Blog Archive