No matter how excited you are to start uni, it’s a natural part of the transition to feel a bit homesick from time to time – it comes with the experience of leaving home.
Being away from your friends and family for a such a long period of time can be tough on anyone so it’s important to know what to do when homesickness strikes. Here are seven useful tips that can help you combat that longing for home.
Sure, you can absolutely expect some awesome times ahead, but uni life isn’t all fun and games; sometimes you have to pull all-nighters to meet deadlines or stay in to write essays, too.
Just in case you were feeling down looking at everyone else’s Instagram stories, wondering why you’re not at the party next door having as good of a time as they are, remind yourself that social media only captures a superficial snapshot of what people’s lives are actually like. Quit comparing your uni experience to others, and remember that it’s ok to not have the best day of your life every day.
Don’t be ashamed to feel homesick. It’s good for the soul to have some communication with loved ones… Just not too much!
Whether it’s a quick phone call, a WhatsApp group chat, or some weekly FaceTiming, it’s a good idea to speak to your friends and family regularly – it helps to close that gap and make you feel more involved with things back home. Just be sure to make the effort to get out and meet new people too, because spending too much time chatting about what you’re missing out at home can actually make you feel the distance more and make your homesickness worse.
Whether you’re moving to uni halfway across the globe or half an hour down the road, it’s a good idea to bring a few home comforts with you – this can be any trinkets that cheer you up when you’re not feeling your best, like a cuddly toy, a photo, or a food item that reminds you of your mum’s cooking. Take whatever you need to make your room feel as homely as possible – don’t be embarrassed!
When you’re living away from home, it can be tempting to treat your room like your own little safe haven, but staying in too much and locking yourself away from the outside world is one of the worst things you can do.
We understand that when you’re feeling homesick, there’s nothing more appealing than binge-eating junk food behind closed doors but isolating yourself will only make your feelings more intense. Your room can be your little slice of peace when you’re in need of some alone time, but you should most definitely make an effort to go out and embrace the uni life – which brings us to the next tip…
Keeping busy is the best method of distraction. Go for a coffee, catch up with some friends, head to the gym, or even just take a short walk in a park can get your mind off your homesickness. You won’t have time to miss home if you have a busy schedule so get yourself into a routine; plan social activities with your new uni mates and give yourself some exciting things to look forward to – if nothing else, it can help you build a network of support at uni.
When life is surrounded by student bars and cheap booze, things like hitting the treadmill and stocking up on fruits and veg, are unlikely to be high on the ‘fun things to do’ list. However, your ability to do anything – whether it’s work or play – will be impaired if you don’t take the basic steps to safeguard your own health.
Taking good care of your health can have an impact on your mental health and make homesickness that much bearable, because you feel much more positive about life when you’re healthy – fact!
The transition from school to university is not an easy one to navigate, but that’s fine, because there’s no shame in asking for help. Talking about your mental health is no longer a taboo among uni students, so if your emotions are becoming so overwhelming that they’re hindering you from performing to the best of your academic abilities or settling into uni life – it’s time to speak up.
If you think homesickness is getting the best of you, take steps to sort any issues out or get support as soon they arise. Don’t hesitate to talk to your friends or flatmates, they’re likely to have experienced the same problem at one point or another. Alternatively, you can make use of your university’s student support services and seek advice from professional counsellors.
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Take a look at our blog if you’d like to learn more about the student life.