Help! I’m nervous about starting university. Sound familiar?

Hey, remember that time when you applied to university, and it was ages away so you didn’t really think about it?

And then you got your results, but you still had the entire summer so you shrugged it off and went and watched the dressage events at the Olympics on TV because it was raining outside and there was nothing else on and apparently horses can dance.

Well, now it’s less than three weeks away and all of a sudden you’re panicking and you’ve got a load of worries because it’s the first time you’re going to properly live away from home, for reals.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve got your back.

Firstly, make sure you’ve gone through The Way To UEA, it’s part of this blog and it will remind you of all the things you need to think about before coming to uni, what to buy, where to go, what’ll happen when you get here. It’s like a choose your own adventure book but instead of fighting dragons you learn how you’ll be able to join the Hellenic Society.

So now you might be anxious because now you’re going to have to be a grown-up (even though you spent part of the summer trying to remember how to cartwheel) living away from home, and grown ups do everything on their own.

False.

You are not alone, and you do not have to be. There are a number of Support Services here at UEA to make sure that you are OK and doing well; because for some people it can be a bit tough coming to uni, but you don’t have to do it without help.

The Union’s Advice Centre is one place you can go. The team are able to give you advice about pretty much everything: housing, academic problems, financial worries, or just general problems you might be having. Open every weekday, free to use by everyone and located right in the middle of campus. Make sure you head there if you ever feel you need to.

Feel free to come talk to any of the Student Officers; we’re a team of elected students who are here to represent you and help with any problems you might have. And if we don’t have the answer, we can definitely point you to someone who does. We’re upstairs in Union House (you’ll find out where that is when you get here).

There’s also the Dean Of Students (DOS). Run by the university, there’s a whole host of people here waiting to help you. They can guide people with mental health issues, sexual health, childcare queries and many, many more things. Check out their website for more information.

You’ll have a Senior Resident for your accommodation if you’re living in halls. This person will be a current student, who works with the DOS, and is there to listen to your problems and give your guidance if you need it.

There’s pretty much a big list of helplines that you can call for help with any number of problems; there are people available to help you deal with problems you might not be able to handle on your own.

Finally, there’s also Nightline. An anonymous service that you can call and talk to at any time, about anything. And if that sounds like a nice thing to do you should consider joining at Societies Fair, because it’s entirely run by student volunteers!

So remember, university is a time when you really get to forge your independence, go out, and do some amazing things, but there are always support networks available to you if you need them. So chill out, enjoy the rest of your holidays, and get excited about all the things you’re going to do when you get here.

SC

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