Opinion: Coping with change: Managing the stress of starting university (Dr. Katherine Fleming)

Transitions can be tough at all life stages. And many young people across Canada are in the process of a major one: starting university or a post-secondary education for the first time. Many are going away from home, often far away, and leaving friends, family and familiarity behind as they embark on their post-secondary adventures.

This time of transition can be an exhilarating or highly anxious time — or, more commonly, a combination. Young people are going through multiple changes that can be viewed both positively and negatively. For instance, it may be exciting that you’re leaving home and gaining independence. But it could be anxiety-inducing to separate from a familiar and safe environment and with decreased face-to-face parental and academic support.

Anxiety is a normal response and is useful when it is manageable at university. It helps students finish projects, study for exams and get essays in on time.

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