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Transitioning to university life


Starting university can be both exciting and daunting. The first few weeks are filled with new faces, new rules, uncertainty, opportunities, hope and confusion. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed in the beginning, especially if you are adjusting to other changes too, such as becoming financially responsible for yourself or moving away from home for the first time.

The transition to university often involves meeting peers whose beliefs, values, racial and ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic status, and sexual and gender identities may be very different to your own. During this time, you might find that you experience an emotional transition as you learn more about who you are as an individual, develop awareness of your own and others’ emotions, and reflect on how your views and identity fit into the world.

Remember, starting anything new has its challenges and often our expectations don’t match our experiences. It’s common to struggle with change, even if it’s an exciting change such as starting university.

What to do

If you’re having a tough time transitioning to university life, here are a few things you can do to make the transition easier:

  • Give it time and set realistic expectations for yourself. It can sometimes take several months to feel completely familiar with university.
  • Acknowledge that you’re in a time of transition and try to be positive about your experience. Growth only happens from change.
  • Try and keep some things in your life the same. This might be a hobby that you enjoy, your sleep schedule, your favourite food or snacks, or something else.
  • Try to meet people early in the trimester by engaging with orientation activities or joining one of Deakin’s clubs or societies.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your experiences.

Getting support

If you are struggling with your transition to university and would like to speak with someone at Deakin, you can make an appointment with Deakin's Counselling service.

The DeakinWELLBEING app can help you find balance and develop healthy habits, which may help your transition to life as a university student. Deakin offers a range of other supports that can assist you with your study and help you connect with other Deakin students.

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Page custodian: Student Services