Throw into the mix a new academic programme and lots of new faces and it can all feel rather overwhelming. Please know that if you feel like that you are not alone, even if it seems like everyone else is having a great time. It takes time to recreate the kind of support networks that you’ve built at home, so if you haven’t made super close friends in the first few weeks don’t panic. We see a number of students every year who are finding it hard at the beginning and feel homesick, but the vast majority go on to settle and flourish both personally and academically.
You have a wide range of options, both in LANS and across the university. In terms of support one of the first things to be aware of is the LANS’ ‘parents scheme’ where new students are paired up with more experienced students from other years. One of the things that we can be proud of in LANS is the sense of community and the friendliness of the student body, and these ‘family’ groups can be a great way to find peer support from people who have been where you are now and have come out the other side. If you feel like you’re really struggling or would just rather talk to a member of staff, there is also a lot of University-based support. Your first port of call might be your personal tutor or Wellbeing Officer, but there are also workshops, counselling, and lots of other support for students who are struggling with their mental or physical health in any way. Please don’t suffer in silence, there are lots of different avenues of support so just ask someone and they will be able to direct you to something relevant for you.
It helps to be organised. If you had support at sixth form or school in terms of extra time for exams or any other adjustments, please make yourself known to the University as soon as possible (preferably before you arrive) so that these can be put in place for you here. Being organised and communicative are really important, so please don’t wonder or suffer alone in silence, just ask someone. Everyone at LANS is here to help you do your best and achieve whatever you want to, so make the most of that support.