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First time in university? Do not fear!

The first year in a university can be quite unnerving and possibly nerve-wracking. High school to university is an enormous shift in the students’ lives. But how effectively can they deal with these changes? In these perturbing situations, anxiety usually strikes in people and causes a lot of unsettling feelings and stress when all they want is a breath of comfort. Students feel like they must carry the burden alone when that is not the case.

Here are different ways to provide a semblance of guidance on what to do when students are riddled with anxiety and stress at the beginning of university. 

  • Group Studying for the better or worse?

Although group studying receives quite a handful of side-eyed looks, it can be beneficial to study in a group. It can relieve stress as different students can help each other out in case of problems. And guess what? Socializing in groups can be relieving for students who are anxious about their studies, as they do not feel alone.


Group activities help students feel involved. Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash
  • Join activities and get involved!

As suggested, students should try and get involved in social activities happening around the campus. Furthermore, students are always welcome to join the numerous clubs that Middlesex University Dubai has to offer. By doing these activities, students are bound to feel more included within certain clubs. Social clubs do their best to make their members feel relaxed by engaging them in fun and thrilling activities and their fascinating, plus innovative workshops.

  • Time management is essential!

The clock is ticking! Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash.

It is ingrained in every student’s brain that time management is what he or she needs to maintain the most. It is always emphasized in schools and applies to universities too. Most students claimed that the main problem they face was the lack of time management and the abundant amount of independent learning. The first thing to be done in these scenarios is to always start immediately on assignments when they are handed over to the students. In this way, students can go at their speed, seek help from their teachers when needed, and finish before the deadline. Fatima Mafdal, a first-year student said: “I’m the kind of student that needs to finish assignments a little before the deadline because I get stressed when the deadline is near.” First-year student Ananya Shetty, BSc Psychology with Education, advised, “I would give myself some time at the beginning of the semester so that I can figure things out and set a pace for myself and pick it up from there.”


Fatima Mafdal, 1st year BSc psychology with counselling skills. Photo by Gayatri Mohinani.
  • Always seek help when needed!

Seeking help is never an easy thing, especially for individuals who are quite hesitant in sharing their personal feelings and problems with professionals. However, it is recommended that students should keep a lookout for the counselling session with Middlesex University’s very own counsellor, Dr George Kaliaden. Dr. Kaliaden is available for anyone that faces problems and feels a bit lost. Do not hold yourself back from seeking help in these crucial times. When asked, Aditi Bhatia, facilitator of the Wellness Support Group, stated, “Transitioning into university life is not easy for everyone. If you discover that despite trying all these different things, it continues to be very difficult for you, then please seek someone with more professional capacity to help you.”

  • Seek comfort in something that soothes YOU!

Students are encouraged to seek out things that comfort them. It could be writing down their feelings in diaries, through blogposts or even colour coding their feelings through therapeutic art if that is what they find most comforting. Writing poetry or stories is something that soothes many as it lets their feelings flow in the form of words. If students prefer a quieter place to be in, to set their thoughts straight, they can find places like the library relaxing.


The library at Middlesex Dubai is brimming with a wonderful environment
  • Invest your time in stress-relieving sports activities!

Engaging in sports can reduce the burden of stress on students. Sports is something that students can use to unwind after a long day. Activities like running, football, basketball, and tennis allow the students to experience that rush of adrenaline that keeps them on their toes. Studies have shown that aerobic exercises decrease the level of tension in a person’s body and brightens up their mood by a tenfold. Physical activity is thoroughly recommended and strongly encouraged in order to maintain mental stability.

  • The Wellness Support Group is always here to help!

It is not always necessary to seek professionals help beyond the university’s reach, because it might not be within anyone’s fiscal capacity, and that is where the Wellness Support Group comes in. Facilitated by Aditi Bhatia, Lecturer of Psychology, it is a great platform that portrays emotional support for students during these difficult times. It serves as a token of assurance that students can lean on when they are suffering from significant life changes. The support group involves ground rules that contain mutual respect and understanding between members and creates a comfortable atmosphere for students to share their worries. Joining the group also helps some students gain a perspective as they listen to different stories. The support group meeting is held every Tuesday from 3 PM – 4 PM and is open for everyone to join. To join the group please reach out to the lecturer! For more information, check out: https://www.mdx.ac.ae/wellness-support

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