I believe that the first day nerves are something that we all encounter at every stage of our lives. Whether it be first day of pre school, secondary school, university or a new job it’s something that anyone can relate to. Recently, I had my first day at a new university as a post grad education student. And I was proper nervous! Believe me when I say I’ve had a lot of first days (13 meaningless jobs before I was 23 anyone??) but it didn’t stop me from being apprehensive about this one.
However, as I have got a wide range of experience being a ‘newbie’ in various situations, I have developed a few techniques for keeping those first day nerves under control and (hopefully) getting off to a smooth start.
💜 Take a deep breath and stand up tall. It may seem obvious but if you don’t feel confident – fake it! Deep breathing exercises can really help reduce nerves and bring a feeling of focus if you are getting in a panic. Also, standing up straight with your shoulders back really does tend make you feel better- try it!
💜 Keep it friendly and make the effort. I find meeting new people, especially loads in one go like you will on your first day, a real worry! Once I’m comfortable with people I’m fine but I can start out really quiet. However, I always make a real effort on first days to chat to people, remember names and be friendly. I know that some people can be the opposite and nerves can make them blurt out opinions and awkward jokes! I’d advise to keep it light at the beginning until you’ve gauged your audience!
💜 Be prepared. Wherever you are going you will feel more relaxed if you know what you’re going into! For example; I had some pre-course tasks for my new postgrad course which I’m so glad I did. If you are starting a new job you may like to do some research on the company and brush up on what’s expected of you.
💜 Visualisation. This may sound strange but sometimes we can build things up in our head to be way worse than they will be in reality. If you’ve got months of thinking about/dreading your first day then you may start imagining it to be awful. Or maybe you will just push it from your mind and not think about it at all. Either way, having a reality check and actually visualising, or ‘rehearsing’, the day in your head can help ease anxiety. What things are likely to happen? You are likely to meet new people, need to introduce yourself, find your way around a new building etc. If you pre-imagine these things you will be less likely to panic and awkwardly introduce yourself as the wrong name and spend the rest of your time there answering to two names because you’re too embarrassed to point it out (not that it’s ever happened to me or anything).
💜 Be yourself. Because you are great! Believe in yourself; you CAN do it and everyone has to be the newbie at some stage. You’ll be fine 🙂
I hope someone will find this helpful. Do you get nervous for first day’s or do you find them a breeze?