Moving away for the first time and starting university can be stressful for anyone. The changes that come with university and moving (financial, social, etc.) are all listed on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. I think that moving away from family and friends can bring this sense of feeling loneliness which is what students often struggle with.

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When I moved to Leicester, I found I really struggled the first two weeks. I did not know the area, I knew no one, I was financially struggling (thanks to the government cutting the NHS funding the course!) and I became quite lonely. This can be a scary time for students who have not felt feelings like this before and therefore they don’t know what to do to make themselves feel better.

If you start developing these feelings of stress, doubt, loneliness, don’t be afraid! You made a big life decision which takes courage. These feelings are totally normal. Talk to someone, family, friends and even your new flat mates! You will all probably feel like this at some point when you start university. At DMU they have security which are available to be access 24/7. So if you feel low at 2am you can always give them a ring and they are more than happy to talk to you. The uni also offers mental health support and counselling which remains confidential.


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Join a society! If you had a hobby back home which you which to continue but are unsure how, then there will be a society for it! Take the plunge and go for it. Try and pick something which is separate to your course, this will help with having a breath of fresh air if you are particularly stressed. Society information can be found at your student union!

If you are finding the coursework, assessment and exams stressful. Find out if your university offers support for this. At DMU they offer what is called CLASS (Centre for Learning and Study Support) which offer support to ALL students. Here you can have your referencing checked, exam preparation, revision techniques and different workshops specific to your assessment needs.


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If you have moved to a new city, explore! When I first came to Leicester I decided to go out by myself and get to know my bearings. It was also a good excuse to explore the shopping centers! Find out if there’s any events happening near you and take yourself on a me date! Shortly after I moved I found out that there was a special autopsy experience which I had always fancied doing, so I went! I also took myself to the museum here and explored the history of Leicester. It also stops you from being stuck in your room.

If you need to get yourself a job, find something which is a zero-hour contract job. I find that this works better for those in full time education. I currently work at the local football stadium. It is perfect for me as it is only down the road and because it is zero hours I can work as and when it suits me. It also pays for a Chinese if I fancy one! If you are a nursing student, I recommend applying to the hospital bank sooner rather than later. If you haven’t got healthcare experience, apply after your first placement. It does take quite a while to get the training completed, references and police check done.

I hope that this advice will help new students moving away for the first time. It is hard, and it is a journey, but you will be so proud of yourself once you have settled in!