We are so pleased to have lots of lovely students back on campus! The place is really starting to come alive once more! We hope you are enjoying your first few days at LSE, meeting lots of people and getting your bearings.
Starting university generates both excitement and anxiety about moving, studying and meeting new people. For some, this apprehension is quickly overcome as you adapt to a new environment; for others the transition takes longer and sometimes emerges as homesickness where you become preoccupied with thoughts of home and feeling a tad overwhelmed. If you’re suffering from homesickness, don’t feel alone - many new university students experience it too.
What might help?
- Talk to someone. If you haven’t yet made friends then try a tutor, supervisor, chaplain, nurse or counsellor or your welfare officer at LSESU.
- Keep in contact with home but make a real effort to make new friends at uni too. Decide whether the best policy for you is to have frequent contact with home (because contact makes you feel better), or little contact (because contact makes you feel worse). Think carefully about whether or not to go home at weekends. Some students find it helps to ease the transition; others find the constant readjustment makes them feel worse.
- Make a real effort to join societies/activities and to make at least one or two friends. This might feel very difficult, but the more you feel part of campus life, the less homesick you will feel.
- Try to establish a routine as soon as possible. The fuller your days are, the less time you will have to feel low.
- Remember to get enough food and sleep.
- If you want help with learning about relaxation and breathing techniques you can listen and download a series of MP3’s recommended by the LSE counselling team.
- If you feel you need to have a chat with someone, you can either call, book online or go to the Student Counselling Office and book an appointment with one of their highly qualified, confidential counsellors. They also have a series of short, drop in sessions too. Appointments for students are free.
Remember, it takes time to adjust to a new environment, new people and a new routine! Give yourself time to adjust: you don’t have to get everything right straight away!
Most government-funded healthcare treatment is free for UK residents, but fixed charges apply for some services. As a student, you need to know what charges you might have to pay. Take a look at this excellent overview by NUS on what healthcare benefits home, EU and international students are entitled to.
How did the first 5 tips work for you in Part 1? Well here’s 5 more to make sure your welfare is tip top during this crazy period!
- Get out the house. If you’re feeling stressed and can’t focus, don’t sit about worrying and feeling guilty. Give yourself a break, go get some fresh air and try to clear your head.
- Socialize. That doesn’t mean necessarily going to a bar and drinking several pints (that probably won’t get you anywhere) but you do need time off. If you’re socialising with friends from university, try to agree to spend 30 minutes letting off steam about university stress, and then agree to BAN conversation about university for the rest of the night. By allocating your time to vent and to have fun, you can really take your mind off of things.
- Write a list-in fact write 2 lists. Sometimes it can be hugely overwhelming all the work you have to do and all the dates are flying around in your head and you have no idea what is going on. Write down clearly a list of what you need to do, and when. Secondly, write down a list of things you’ve accomplished this week, this will make you realise how hard you’ve been working.
- Get a massage. It is not as expensive as you might think. Sites such as Groupon and Wowcher almost daily have offers for Spa-related treats. A massage is a great way to free yourself of tension and relax. Get an aromatherapy massage which is particularly beneficial.
- Talk to someone. The LSE counselling service is free and confidential for all students. They are well worth visiting if you’re feeling down.
And the key thing, if you take anything from this blog is to remember that this stress is TEMPORARY! Exams, essays, assignments, dissertation…they will all get done, and soon enough you can celebrate the end of the doom-period and enjoy yourself and your freedom once more. Here are some happy cats to motivate you.
The LSE Students’ Union and Chaplaincy are hosting a joint photography competition on the theme of “Sacred Spaces of London.” Entrants are free to submit an image of any location in the capital where they feel spiritual or they feel has a strong religious connection to them. Basic editing is permitted, but the focus should be on the relationship between the artist and the subject as much as possible.
Entries will be accepted up to and including the 17th of December and should be submitted electronically, either as a JPG or PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org alongside contact details and a 10-20 word caption explaining the context of the photograph.
The top twelve photographs will be displayed in the Fourth Floor Restaurant, with cash prizes available to the winner and two runners-up.
I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!
I always feel rather depressed on Results Day, partly because I once again see that everyone is brighter now than I was in 2009, but also because I become aware of the inevitable march of time upon my declining mental and physical well-being.
However, on the day, I can still remember feeling as delighted as you all must now be feeling. I spent most of Results Day Eve playing a great deal of Railway Tycoon and Civilisation, at times wishing I lived in the computer because everything seemed a lot more straightforward there. Yet, as it inevitably does, reality eventually came crashing back into my existence and as with many of you, I was politely informed by an automated e-mail that the LSE was happy to acquire three years of my life.
One thing that I can assure you all now is that this is the last time that anyone will be in the slightest bit interested in your A-Level results or IB score. After two years of graft, those handful of digits are now consigned to little more than a single line on your CV.
Still, they were worth it, weren’t they?
As ever, the LSE and LSESU are around if you have any queries or comments regarding coming to London. You can email our advice centre at Su.Advice@lse.ac.uk or contact university admissions team at email@example.com or by phoning +44 (0)20 7955 7125.
Aside from that shameless plug, I strongly advise you to take the next few days off. After a summer of now-needless fretting, go out and actually enjoy yourself!
Done that? Great, now here are a few tips that I wish I had known before coming here;
- Get used to living away from home: University is the first time that most of us have done this before, so I recommend dealing with this rather big cultural shift. I know that my parents were more bothered about me going away than I was, so learn to accommodate their fussing and embarrassing shows of affection
- Visit to London: It is a big place, and prior to coming to LSE nearly three years ago, the sum total of my metropolitan experience was a trip on the London Eye when I was twelve and seeing my dad off from Waterloo when he led a class trip to Paris when I was nine. I would highly suggest coming down for a day or so and orientating yourself from your Hall. That way, you can walk smugly to LSE as part of your first foray into one of London’s oldest traditions, ignoring tourists.
- Watch a video: This one as a matter of fact, produced my our lovely Digital Intern Wanda. You can also skip to the end in order to see me totally failing to understand how a door works…
- Get an Oyster Card: Unless you get one of these, you will be spending enough money on Tube fares to allow Boris Johnson to buy another yacht. A big yacht, made from gold and peacock tears.
- Plan your courses: The LSE tend to be fairly accommodating in allowing you to change your academic choices in the first few weeks. However, basically everyone has a compulsory module or two during First Year. You most certainly don’t have to read or buy everything on your reading list, but if you see a few interesting sounding books on the Course Guide, it always helps to get to grips with the nitty-gritty.
- Leave the Nescafe at home: London has some of the best baristas in the world and they will be able to inform you what proper coffee actually tastes like.
- Buy a scrapbook: I am amazed about how much cool stuff I have actually been able to do in the city. Every-time you visit a museum, get a postcard. Every-time you find a café buried away in a street market, see if you can get a sugar packet. Every-time you go walking in another one of a Royal Parks, get a desiccated leaf. Stick them all into a journal and write a little note about it, it’s a fantastic way to keep some memories together, and it is a lot more emotive than Facebook ever will be!
Right, that’s your lot, enjoy the rest of the summer! You have all earned it!
I have also been informed by our legal people that Boris Johnson does not own a yacht.
A yacht, not owned or operated in any way by the Mayor of London.