No matter how much fun you’re having in freshers week and over the first semester of university, everyone feels a little bit homesick from time to time. It’s a completely normal part of moving away from home and for most people it won’t last for too long. But, if you do find yourself struggling, there are plenty of ways that you can cope with homesickness. Here is our advice
1. Find something to look forward to
Having something to look forward to is always the best way to get through a bad time. Not only does it keep your mind on something positive but it also means that you can keep things in perspective. The sadness that you’re feeling about missing family or friends is only temporary and you’ll see them again as soon as the Christmas holidays roll around. Or, if you’re planning a trip home, mark it on your calendar so that you can always keep it in mind.
2. Regular phone calls
Keeping in touch with people at home is a good way to feel close to them and drive away your homesickness. Of course, spending all day, every day messaging your mum may not be helpful so try to organise a regular, weekly call that you can look forward to without taking too much time away from socialising with uni mates. If you’re having an especially bad day, check in with your old group chats. Your friends will be missing you too so making the first move is a good idea.
When you’re not seeing your family everyday, surrounding yourself in photos can be a good way to keep them present in your life despite the distance. Plus, you can get creative and use this as a way to make your dorm room feel more personal and therefore more homely. Instead of feeling like such a new space, it will be a nice and familiar place to return to after a long day.
4. Keep Busy
Keeping busy is the best way to take your mind off of homesickness. Although taking time for yourself is great, if you spend too long alone in your room you’ll only spend more time thinking about what you’re missing from home. Going out and having fun will make you feel more positive in day to day life and even help you to find new friends.
5. Make a uni family
Finding new friends won’t mean that you’re replacing the old ones, it’s just s good way to assemble a new uni family. Surrounding yourself with positive people and opening up to them about feeling homesick will help you to get things off your chest and find support, as well as feeling like you belong in your new home.
6. Home comforts
Going to uni can feel like a big step in growing up so it might be tempting to ditch anything that doesn’t fit in with that. But, your childhood toy or the blanket that you’ve cuddled since you were born can be a really comforting thing to hold onto while you’re going through such a big change.
7. Explore your new home
If being in an unfamiliar place is the cause of your homesickness, then it is a good idea to get acquainted with your new area. Going on daytrips to find the best local cafes, shops and parks is a good way to build up an idea of where you are living and to settle into your new home.
8. Find help
As we said, homesickness is completely normal but if it’s getting to the point where it interferes with normal life, then dealing with it alone may not be realistic. Your university will have places to go in situations where you feel yourself struggling, whether that is student mentors or counselling. Resorting to an option like this can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been through the process before, but these people are there to help you and will be patient no matter what.