Moving to University is a big adjustment and no matter how far away you move, most people feel a bit homesick from time to time. Even if you don’t think you will, chances are you will. Whether its missing the people back at home or general home comforts we all feel it at some point. I moved a long way for uni which means I can’t go home as much as some of my friends do, and with my family far away and all my friends scattered across the country at various different universities I confess I have had times where I have felt extremely homesick, but I have some things that helped me…
Bring home comforts with you for your room to remind you of home or cheer you up, things like photos and posters for your pin board. Turn your room into your den! If its bare, it isn’t going to really feel like your room, make it homely.
Keep busy and fill your spare time with social activities, get to know your flatmates and people from your course or try some extracurricular activities, there are loads of clubs and societies that you can join at the Students’ Union. You could even get a part time job to keep busy, while earning some extra money. Don’t spend too much time cooped up in your room, it will only make you feel worse and isolating yourself won’t help. It will make you miss home more. Even if you have a mountain of work or revision, go to the library to do it, it’s open 24 hours! It’ll get you out of your room into a different surrounding so you don’t go stir- crazy! Also, go and explore. A big part of homesickness is feeling like you’re in unfamiliar surroundings, so go and explore and get to know the city to make it feel more like home.
Plan your visits home, this is a big thing that helps me. Knowing when I am next going home breaks up the term and gives me something to look forward to. Thinking about not being home for 3 months is more daunting than just a few weeks.However, what I will say is that you should try not to go home too much. Although it is tempting to go home lots, especially if you live close to university, it will make it harder to settle in. You may miss your family and friends back home, but constantly going to see them will mean you won’t spend as much time with people at uni, which makes it less likely that you’ll make good friendships, and it is those new friendships that make you feel more settled and happy in a new place.
Facetiming or Skyping is good too, it’s a nice way to have a chat with friends and family and catch up. I try to Facetime my family every week or so, so we can update each other about what is going on in our lives and just hearing news from home can help keep homesickness at bay. Regular Snapchats of my dog helps too.
Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel you are really struggling. The University has plenty of counselling and support services available if you need someone to talk to!