A student starting out their studies at a university is facing many new things. Moving to a new city and learning the academic study pace may burden the student’s mind.
According to Pia Partanen, Study Psychologist at the University of Oulu, many great variables enter the life of a young person at once, which may be confusing and stressful.
“Even when the changes are interesting for the student, they are also stressful. Not all students understand that. However, you should keep in mind that routines are created and after the first year, many new things don’t put such a strain on you anymore.”
One big change for a student is finding a new group of friends, and befriending new people may be socially challenging for many. Partanen feels that tutor activities in small groups are a great way of entering the social circles at the university. Tutors can tell the students about different clubs and associations available for students at the university.
“Integrating in the student community and identifying with your field of study is not easy for all, and loneliness may be a great challenge at these times. Fitting into the crowd is a big thing. One factor promoting studies is that a student feels they are part of a certain group.”
When summer or graduation approach, moving on to a professional career may be nerve-racking for students.
“It’s good to be aware of the workplace etiquette and the operating culture of your own field. The workplace may have expectations when it comes to dress code, for instance. But always keep in mind that you have been selected as you are.”
Students spend more and more time online.
In the Finnish Student Health Survey of 2016, 25 per cent of students said that using the Internet hinders their studies.
However, online and social media form a big part of modern interaction. Partanen states that students must be able to take control of their own use of the Internet,if too much time is spent online.
“Finding a balance is crucial for a student managing their everyday life. Many students work first and play or use social media only after that, as a sort of reward for completed work. If you spend too much time online, it easily transforms as not getting anything done in your studies and everyday life.”
Text: Ville Perttula