First-Day Jitters: Coping with first-day anxiety when studying abroad.
So you've applied to your dream school abroad and got accepted (let’s skip all the paperwork because you got IDP to help you with that and to make your life abroad easier anyway), suddenly it’s your first day of school in a different country! Feeling nervous, already? That's perfectly fine - don't let it hold you back.
Here are some ways you can conquer first-day jitters as an international student:
1. Have a good night sleep.
If you can make your first day of school in a different country as stress-free as possible, do it! You can start with having a good night's sleep prior to your first day. Come to school prepared and energized. Plan ahead and prepare as much as you can (like outfit and food) so you won't have to worry about it on the actual day.
According to SleepScore Labs, (It’s a sleep company and yes, that’s a thing!), sleep is actually your best friend that helps you be on top of things particularly concentrating, decision and judgment-making, and regulating moods. Sleep definitely helps with stress as it calms and restores the body. So, skip that Netflix party and go get some sleep, kid!
Don't let your nervousness drive away potential friends. Wear a friendly smile and let that enthusiastic aura set the mood for you and the people around you. Remember: if you act nervous around your classmates, there's a possibility that they will feel uncomfortable around you. Put on your best smile to mask off that shy kid inside.
3. Make friends and build relationships
You know what they say: first impressions last! If you believe in that then make sure you leave a good first impression. Make friends and build relationships. Chit-chat with your classmates and learn more about the school and their culture. Not only are you immersing yourself in the environment you will live in for the next few years but you're also building relationships with the people that can you make your life easier away from home.
Keen to learn more tips? Check out this article: How to Deal with Culture Shock: A Guide for International Students
Written by: Niña Dominica Rellama