It’s the first time you’re living away from home. You’re in a new place that you’ve been imagining about for months. You’ve got everything ready, you’re all signed up and you’re officially a new student.
Or you’re doing a postgraduate degree, you’re a lot further away than last time. You’re halfway through, then all of a sudden, some sort of trigger comes into your life that reminds you of home.
Yet, regardless of the circumstances, you’re feeling homesick. You’re missing your family, the place you grew up, the friends you had which are either still there or moved away.
You’re feeling homesick.
But can I tell you something?
Its okay to feel like this… and here is why.
We all miss the things we love most. We all get down from time to time. Going to university is a huge step and taking a big step away from home into a different yet new world can be daunting and scary. But its okay to feel like this. We all feel it. Its natural to be scared of somewhere unfamiliar and to miss the place you love most. Everyone worries about these things. To worry whether you’ll find friends at university. If you’ll be able to get good grades. If you’ll be able to graduate and find a good job after it all.
We feel down and low at times, and this feeling is perfectly natural and common.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first, or third time moving away from the place you grew up in, it can be hard sometimes to keep going with your life when you are missing home. And sometimes, you worry, now that you’re out of the house, away from your parents, all of a sudden, they’re not there anymore. And it can get quite lonely. Feeling homesick is difficult but everyone feels it. A lot of students feel this when they first start but its also very common when you’re away from home, particularly if it’s very far away.
I’ve felt this feeling myself, both when I was starting out as an undergraduate at Canterbury and during my Masters in Leeds. It’s difficult to feel this way, and it was harder to deal with during my Masters. Although I was used to being away from home, I felt a lot more isolated, I was further away from home and I really struggled.
If its getting bad, here are some ways that helped me cope with feeling homesick:
Giving the people you miss a message or call
They’re always at the other end of a phone, but if you really miss their voice, you can always give them a ring.
Talking to someone at university about it
Chances are that they’ve felt the same way at some point and they can give you some helpful ideas as well.
Go back and visit
It isn’t always an easy or possible to do so but if you can and you have a free weekend or a few days where you don’t have lectures, go back. If you can’t, if you have friends who have moved away, and they are closer by, try and arrange a visit with them.
Distract your brain
The best thing I do when I’m feeling low is to distract my brain by doing something that involves a lot of thinking. I would not recommend doing any studies during this time, but instead, doing some you enjoy.
No matter whether this is the first time or the hundredth time this has happened, its okay and perfectly normal to feel like this. You are not alone in feeling this and its okay to get help.