You were just feeling on top of the world, researching the uni and finding out lots of cool things to do in the city. But now the existential dread has set in and you’re thinking about what your purpose even is and is there any meaning of life.
Don’t keep on spiralling down the bottomless pit of despair. Bust those pre-university doubts with our guide to four of the most common and all you need to do to conquer them.
1. Did I choose the right course?
There’s a million and one courses you could be doing, but you can only do one of them. And with everyone posting on social media and showing how incredible their life choices are, the pressure is on to make your decision the right one.
When we get too preoccupied with what everyone else is seemingly doing and how things ‘could’ be, we enter into a cycle of non-stop worry. Worry is a future-oriented state of mind, and as such, it won’t give you any answers about how you’re feeling and what’s happening right now. The best you can do is to put down your phone, go for a jog or meditate, and get back in touch with the present.
Your choice of university course does not define your career, and chances are you know it’s right for you in this moment. The reality is we don’t know what we’re going to want tomorrow never mind the rest of our lives — that’s why we need to get out of our heads and find out.
2. What if I don’t like it?
One of the biggest pre-university doubts is centred on the idea of not liking it — whether it’s the social standard of going out every night or putting up with the dirty habits of complete strangers.
When we’re making a big change in our life, we like to obsess about everything little thing that could go wrong. It’s the body’s way of checking for dangers and making sure we’re safe. However, if we don’t control this, we let it run riot and forget about all the good stuff. Most importantly, though, we forget the fact that all of it in happening within our imagination.
Sure, some people don’t like uni — it’s something they find out while learning a lot about themselves in the process. But as there’s literally something for everyone and you meet every type of person under the sun, including many doubtful ones, the vast majority find they love it.
3. What if nobody likes me?
There’s a secret that many young students don’t know when they start university. From the loners to the most popular people in the class, everyone, to some degree or another, thinks that other people don’t like them.
So it doesn’t matter how many friends you surround yourself with or how cool you make yourself, this is one of the pre-university doubts that will not go away unless you change your own mind about it. Everyone is in the same boat and suffering from the same social anxieties, so drop the delusion early, be yourself, and you’ll see there was never anything to worry about.
4. What if I cant cope being away from home?
Like cooking, living away from home is something you just learn to do. Sure, going to uni is throwing you in at the deep end — like going from making toast to a soufflé — but soon it will become second nature and the source of much enjoyment and fulfilment.
Much of being away from home is about training out old habits and bringing new ones in. Embrace the fear and join as many clubs and societies as possible in fresher’s week. Even if you‘re not sure about half of them, go along and give them a try. It beats crawling into bed and sulking into the covers.