First Days for Awkward Students15 February 2018
So, it’s your first day of uni and I’m sure all of you semi-functioning adults out there are ready to take on this big new world. You might be a bit nervous, but it’s nothing you can’t handle…
But for the rest of us lesser-functioning beings, the idea of going to an unfamiliar place filled with unfamiliar faces is kind of scary. And by ‘kind of scary’, I mean ridiculously, catastrophically terrifying.
So in this article I’ll be breaking down the first day of uni for you. And while I can’t promise to offer any helpful advice (as any guidance I give you would be like the blind leading the blind), I can provide a space in which we can share in our misery as the socially challenged.
The Night Before
It’s the night before the big day and you want to make sure you are well rested and ready to try not to make a fool of yourself tomorrow. You are in bed by 10:30pm and make sure to set your alarm for some absurdly early time the next morning (real talk, morning people should not exist, they ruin it for everyone). This, in theory, should allow you to get a good night’s rest and have ample time to panic in the morning.
Now, for anyone like me who basically becomes nocturnal during the holidays (I don’t care what anyone says, 3am is a perfectly reasonable time to go to sleep and anyone who says they wake up before 10am is lying), attempting to sleep early mostly just results in you lying in your bed for hours bored out of your mind. The worst part of this whole endeavour is being victim to your brain thinking of everything that could go wrong tomorrow like the world’s most cringe-worthy film. Honestly, it takes real talent to come up with so many worst-case scenarios.
If any of these situations actually come to fruition, use it as a way to make friends by laughing at your ineptness together. Trust me, no student is immune to first day nerves and bonding over them is a fast way to make friends.
Hours later, your alarm drags you back into the miserable world of the living at some ungodly hour (seriously, waking up before 9am should be illegal). You force yourself to leave your bed—the only thing in your life that loves you back—and get ready for the day.
I’m sure most of you want to make a good first impression and make an effort to look your best (though I don’t know why you bother when first impressions only last until the second time you meet someone and screw it up). Some of you probably even chose your outfits the night before. For the rest of us who have given up on meeting social expectations, we throw on one of our few staple outfits and leave it at that. (I have about four outfits I wear on rotation. It’s a good system.)
There is nothing that fills you up with more anxiety than having to get on unfamiliar public transport. The idea that you might get on the wrong tram or train or, God forbid, bus, literally makes you want to cry, so getting to uni the first couple of days is a goddamn nightmare (this isn’t just me, right?).
You spend half the time anxious that you are on the wrong train and the other half anxiously trying to make sure you get off at the right station. And God forbid you’re on the tram and press the button too soon. Now everyone is looking at you and you have to get off (and no, it’s not the paranoia making you see things, they were definitely looking).
*ACTUAL ADVICE ALERT*
The Lost on Campus app will save your life.
For those of you who are more directionally challenged, finding your way around campus is like attempting to find a needle in a haystack (i.e. not even worth trying, classes be damned). And of course, you can’t ask anyone for directions as that would require you to initiate conversation with another human and we all know that’s not gonna happen.
So, trust me when I say that this app is a lifesaver. It will give you directions to anywhere on campus and does not require any social interaction. In fact, it will even deter people from talking to you, as no one wants to talk to the newbie using their phone to navigate themselves to class. Use the trope to your advantage! It’s a win-win situation.
And there you go, a complete (emotional) breakdown of your first day of uni. Good luck, and I hope the one piece of actual advice I gave helps!