You’re moving to a new place with new people and you’re really stressed out. Don’t worry! So is everyone else! You‘re about to move into a place with hundreds of people who are feeling exactly same way as you are. So go ahead and introduce yourself to someone new on your floor. Chances are they don’t know anyone else either!

2. Be prepared

Start your transition to living on your own when you’re still at home. Prepare for living in residence by making lists of what you need and being responsible for all the packing. Being independent while still at home will help reassure you (and your anxious parents) that you will be able to handle things on your own.

3. Meet new people

Now that you’re living away from your family, it’s up to you to create new support networks. When you move into residence, don’t spend all day in your dorm room. Residence offers the perfect point to branch off and explore the university. Don’t be shy! Get to know your roommate if you have one or meet your neighbours across the hallway. Building these friendships will help establish that much-needed support network that will keep those homesick blues at bay.

4. Explore your new city

Get on public transit and become familiar with different travel routes. Make friends with students who are from the local city. They can show you around and take you to all the cool spots to hang out. By getting to know the city better, you’ll feel more at home and be able to play tourist when your family and friends come to visit you.

5. Ask for help!

Just because you’re on your own doesn’t mean you’re all alone. If you need help, just ask someone! We all need a little help sometimes. You can talk to your residence advisor, or other residence staff to help guide you in the right direction. And don’t forget about your parents; they will love to help you and they know a lot!

6. Keep a level head

Don’t let independent living go to your head. Ice cream for dinner and late nights out are a good way to de-stress, but don’t forget that you are the one who is responsible for looking after yourself now. Make sure you’re keeping on top of school work and watch your budget!

7. Take advantage of what residence has to offer

Residence has tons to offer, so take advantage of it! Freebies, programs, peer support, games and events are great ways to get out there and try new activities.

8. Stay in touch

Living away from home for the first time can mean feeling homesick and missing your friends and family. Call them up or send them emails from time to time to tell them how you’re doing. They’ll appreciate hearing from you and all the fun activities you’re getting involved with at school. Before you know it, your first semester would have flown by and it will be time to head home for the winter holiday break to see your family and friends again.

Looking for more back-to-school tips? Check out Ryerson's media spotlight room for more tips this week:www.ryerson.ca/news/media/spotlight/bts2011or follow @RyersonNews

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca