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Coping with Change

Coping with Change

As exciting as it is moving away to university and starting the next chapter of your life, sometimes, it can suddenly feel very overwhelming to adjust to change and new responsibilities.

According to Mind Tools1, there are two ways that people cope with change:

1. Escape coping
Avoiding difficulties that result from the new change. This might be avoiding lectures and seminars altogether, or finding comfort in substances like alcohol.

2. Control coping
Managing your feelings about the change head-on and involving yourself in the change in a positive way. This might be asking for support from your tutor about a looming deadline that is causing you worry or concern.

We tend to adopt a mixture of the two coping strategies, but focusing on the Control Coping strategy is the most beneficial method.

To help ensure your university experience is as positive and enjoyable as possible, read our five ways of adjusting to university life positively and happily:

  1. Set Some Expectations

    Moving to university is a big change but find some comfort that everyone else is in the same position. Expect that your first few weeks may be a mixture of nerves and anxiety; it’s completely normal to feel this way, and you are not alone.

    Once you’ve set some expectations that you’re likely to feel this way, you can focus on overcoming those nerves, enjoying your course, and getting to know your course mates.

  2. Time Management

    Keeping on top of your time management is key, especially in the early days. Don’t try to do too much at once, but don’t put anything off until the last minute. Your main priority should be to study, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out time to socialise and meet some new friends.

    Map out a plan for the first month; include when you expect to be attending lectures and seminars, alongside any events that you would like to attend – such as fresher’s week. If you have an important meeting in your diary, you know you need to be sensible the evening before without sacrificing any fun to be had.

  3. Prioritise Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

    For a good night’s sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead, 7-8 hours is recommended. Not only will this help you to feel more positive, but you’ll have more energy and be more willing to meet new friends and stay on top of your assignments.

    It’s not always easy to prioritise sleep when there are lots of other exciting things happening; why not set a time that you aim to be home for?

  4. Talking to someone

    The Nurtur team is always there for a chat whenever you want – pop in for a cup of tea and a biscuit any time. If there’s something specific you need advice on, we are Mental Health First Aiders and can provide you with the information and resources you need. Mental Health isn’t just about stress, depression, and anxiety – it’s things that affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour.

    It’s also good to speak with your peers who may be experiencing similar feelings, or making a call to home to hear a familiar voice.

  5. Exercise

    You don’t need to perform a gruelling session at the gym to reap the benefits of exercise. A brisk walk outside or on the onsite gym’s treadmill is enough to get your heart rate up and the endorphins flowing.

    If you fancy a steady challenge, the NHS Couch to 5k app is a 9-week programme broken down into manageable chunks to get you up and running a 5k distance. You can take the programme at your own pace, and repeat weeks as often as you like until you feel comfortable moving on.



Written by the Nurtur Team