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Regardless of whether you’re 17 or 18 and going to university straight from high school, or you've been in the workforce for a number of years and now want to gain a qualification – starting university for the first time can be daunting.

Getting to know an unfamiliar campus, adjusting to lectures and tutorials, learning new things, making new friends, juggling life as an "adult" – all while trying to get a degree to advance your career – can get a little overwhelming.

But you’re not alone in feeling like this. And while it’s a lot to take in, most people do it wonderfully, learning from any challenges they are confronted with, and coming out the other side having had the experience of their lives.

Your network of new friends await

Everyone feels at least a little nervous, awkward, and overwhelmed in the beginning.

Yes, there will be a handful of people who glide through university life effortlessly and confidently, seemingly making friends with half the campus by the end of their third day. Don't worry about them. They're the minority.

Most people feel ill at ease and uncertain when they first go to university – it's a major life transition after all. Remember, everyone is there to learn and grow. Be ready to accept people and branch out of your comfort zone.

Helpful hints

Here's some advice on how to minimise your pre-university jitters:

  • Go to as many O-Week events as you can.
  • Take the initiative to hang out with people you seem to click with.
  • Keep making plans and hang out with people you get along with and see where the budding friendship goes.
  • If you live on-campus, try to get to know the people in your college or residence.
  • If you live at home or off-campus try to hang around campus as much as you can.
  • Take advantage of volunteering and mentoring opportunities.
  • Join any clubs, societies and sporting teams where you may share a common interest with a group of people.

Learn to see the potential of the world. Gain the knowledge to make it better.

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