Nervous about starting university? You’re not alone

by Nov 26, 2021

Starting at university is one of life’s big moments. It doesn’t matter if you are coming straight from high school to start your undergraduate degree, or if you have experienced a bit more of life before deciding you want to study.

Or, perhaps you have started a degree, stopped it (because life) and started again. Maybe you have decided it’s time to do postgraduate studies. However you have made it to the start of your degree, YOU ARE HERE now – well done, good job, congratulations and above all WELCOME.

I have been managing the Orientation process at UTS for many, many years, and more recently I have started asking students how they are feeling about starting at university. Here is what they have said.


Nervous and anxious

An overwhelming number of new students say that there are nervous and anxious about starting their university degree, which in my experience is completely normal! What are they nervous about?

  • Making friends at uni.
  • Managing and balancing their work, study, social and family commitments.
  • How COVID will affect their study and their university experience.
  • How studying offshore will affect their studies and university experience.
  • The pressure they feel to make these years ‘the best years’ of their life!
  • Not knowing how to get around campus.
  • Unsure if the degree they have selected will lead them to the career they want.

If you are reading this and experiencing any of the above thoughts, please know that you are not alone! It’s very common to feel like this. We know you might be feeling all of the above, and we have plenty of people (UTS staff and current students) who are really excited to help you out and get you started.

You can find out how to manage your time, get the most out of your studies, find your way around campus and meet new people from your faculty at UTS Orientation, 7 – 18 February 2022.


Excited. Nervous. Nervous but excited.

Equally as overwhelming were the comments about how excited new students are to start university! Here is what they are excited about.

  • Meeting new people and making friends!
  • Learning more about something they are passionate about.
  • Experiencing the flexibility of university learning and not being in high school anymore.
  • Starting a new adventure and chapter in their life.
  • New experiences and new challenges.
  • Learning new skills and starting to lay the foundation for future career pathways.


I have also had the opportunity recently to talk to current students, who will be welcoming new students to UTS in Autumn 2022. I asked them:

“Now that you have started studying at university, if you were to start again, what would you want to know?”

Here is what they said:

  • I would want to receive guidance on how to study at university as it is very different to high school.
  • How the UTS Systems work! How to choose subjects, how to change subjects, what an e-request is and how to do it. Basically anything about student admin.
  • I’d want to learn more about the clubs and societies and how to join them.
  • Support services – you don’t know what you will need until you need them. It’s good to have a rough idea of what exists in case you need them! For example, the counselling service, HELPS and U:PASS.
  • That it is a good thing to ask for help – that’s what your lectures, tutors, library staff and all support staff are there for.
  • I wish someone had told me what a subject outline was and to look at it as soon as I get it! I know look at and write down when all my assessments are due – immediately.


If you want to make sure you get the best start to your university degree, you can have all your questions answered as a new commencing student at UTS Orientation.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

By Rachel Yasmineh

By Rachel Yasmineh

Project Manager

Rachel Yasmineh is a Project Manager for UTS Careers. She has been working in Student Engagement in Higher Education for more than a decade. Rachel is dedicated to delivering the best and most valuable university experience to students as they make their journey through university and beyond.