Starting university is an exciting new experience, but it’s natural to feel homesick sometimes. This is especially the case when the excitement of Freshers week has passed and you’ve settled into your first term, so here are some ideas on what has helped other people get through it.
“Keep yourself busy”
You could get a part-time job whilst studying, so you can earn a little more cash, add experience to your CV, meet new people and have a break from studying. Amongst new friends have a set day of the week where you go out together, either for a walk, food, cinema or sport – anything that is fun for you all, is removed from your work and gets everyone out of their flats for a few hours. This will help to get to know one another, explore the local town and have a change of environment.
“Decorate your room”
Being away from home is hard at the best of times, but when your room feels like a home away from home it’ll make things much easier. Put up some posters and decorate it to your taste (within reason so you don’t get charged) so your room feels like your unique space and home where you can relax and unwind.
“Keep in touch (just not too much!)”
It’s not easy being away from your loved ones, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still connected to them. You can set time each week where your friends from home all talk and catch-up, so you don’t feel like you’re losing your friendships with them. But be mindful that now is your opportunity to meet new people and create new friendships and memories. You’re all in the same boat and even if some people are louder than you and seem to be able to make friends quicker, everybody at one time or another will get homesick and will go through the same emotions as you – watch out for that and be there for them, it will be appreciated.
When you’re feeling down it can be tempting to curl up in bed for a Netflix marathon. Next time the urge hits you, try heading outside for some exercise instead. There’s loads of room-friendly indoor workouts on YouTube that you can do with no equipment, but you can also explore joining a gym, a casual sport, or just going for a walk or a run. Not only will it get your endorphins flowing but having a change of scenery can help to get your head out of the funk and think about why you are feeling that way so next time you know what to do when the feeling creeps up on you.
“Ask for help”
It’s always okay to admit it’s getting a bit much for you and to reach out for help. Moving to university is a big transition and it can be tough to get your head around. It always looks like everyone else is coping, but you aren’t alone. Talk to the people around you because they’re going through the same things that you are, and if you think you need a bit more support get in contact with your university support services. You don’t have to face anything on your own.