University and your last few teen years in general are home to a lot of ‘firsts’. First days of any new thing are always the most nerve wracking as you often have no idea what to expect and they can involve meeting a lot of new people all at once, which can be pretty daunting. I’m going to focus on your first actual day of classes as I’ve talked about befriending your flatmates and moving into halls in other posts, but if you want me to do a specific post on that then just let me know!
I don’t actually remember my first proper day of classes, but my ‘first day’ memory is my enrolment as that’s when I met everyone on my course for the first time and spoke to a lot of the tutors. I know I was incredibly awkward, but I also know that everyone was nervous and some people deal with that by talking loads, so attach yourself to a group of people and go from there! I’d also had the fortune of being a part of a Facebook group for my course before uni started, so I recognised a few friendly faces, but I was still too scared to actually go and talk to any of them!
Preparation is key to having a smooth first day. By this I mean make sure you have a pen and a notebook and anything else you’ve been told to bring at the very least, as it won’t reflect well on you if you turn up forgetting a lot of the basics. You can also prepare a list of conversation starters to keep on your phone if you think that might be helpful, or some questions that you’d like to ask your tutor or course leader.
2. Be confident
I was a complete bag of nerves when I met everyone for the first time, but the trick is to try not to show it on the outside. Obviously some people will be better at this than others, but just try and smile at people, make small talk, and get acquainted. The people you talk to on your first day might not turn out to be your best friends ever, but being a friendly face is always a good thing. If you’re feeling particularly awkward, look for other people in your position and go and strike up a conversation with them, as they’ll probably be just as grateful for the small talk as you are!
3. Be Comfy
This might seem like a silly thing, but pick an outfit that you love and you feel comfortable/confident in. I don’t remember what I wore on my first day, but I imagine it was some sort of jeans/jumper combination as that was my comfort go-to! Make sure you wear comfy shoes too in case your tutors decide to take you on a campus tour or something similar!
4. Stay true to you
Basically I mean don’t push yourself too far out of your comfort zone on day one; you’ll have plenty of time for that later on! If you feel like you need a break, don’t be afraid to take one. University can be quite overwhelming and nobody’s going to judge you for taking five. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself as relaxed as possible – it’s supposed to be fun after all!
These are just some little tips to help with your first day. As with anything, try and get a good night’s sleep the night before, and eat something before you go to your first lecture. Your first day isn’t going to be a big deal once you’ve done it (like I said, I can’t even remember mine!) but it’s going to be the thing that helps you feel settled and chilled out for the next few weeks, so try to enjoy it.
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