Dealing with homesickness while you’re at University
By: Kayleigh, redwigwam
Depending on your accommodation you might’ve been away from home for a few weeks by now if you’ve moved away somewhere new for university.
For some people being away from home won’t bother them so much, but others can start to feel very homesick which can lead to feeling anxious and depressed.
But don’t worry if you are in the latter category, we have a few tips to help you!
1. Go out and keep yourself busy.
If you’ve moved to a new place, there are things you need to do to get yourself settled in your new home. You will need to source the nearest GP and register there, as well as finding the nearest supermarket and any other amenities you will need. If you keep yourself busy, this will limit the time you have spent indoors missing your home and people from home. Once the semester starts you will also be very busy with attending your classes and working on your assignments so this will make it easier to keep your mind off feeling homesick.
2. Bring home comforts with you
Whether it be a blanket you can curl up under at night, a framed picture of your family or pet, or maybe a cuddly toy sprayed with the perfume or aftershave of one of your loved ones. Its always nice to have something to bring you comfort at times when you’re feeling especially homesick. Other things you might want to bring could be your favourite food or drink from home, maybe your mum buys a particular brand of hot chocolate and drinking a mug of that might bring you comfort. Whatever it is that reminds you of home, bring it with you!
3. Limit social media
Spending too much time on social media can give you a low mood as it can appear that many people you see on there are happy and living an amazing life when in fact it could be the total opposite. Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression and anxiety often feel worse when spending extended amounts of time on social media. It's much better to spend time with people in real life, so instead of sitting in your bedroom scrolling on your phone, go to the living room and have a brew with your flatmates!
4. Explore your new surroundings
You now have plenty of time in your new home town or city to go out and explore. See what museums, art galleries, bars, restaurants, cinemas they have. If you go out to places with your new friends or flatmates, this will help you to bond with them too. The closer you get to new friends, the less homesick you should feel.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others
Each one of us handles every situation in life differently. Some of us are more independent than others. Some people learn quicker than others. You will never really know how well you will cope with a situation until you are in it. If you’re someone who gets homesick, that in no way means you’re weak. You might be surrounded by people who seem to be coping better than you, but maybe they just don’t show it. You might know someone who doesn’t suffer from homesickness, but they might really struggle with other issues. So, never compare how you are handling things with how someone else is because you really never know what is going on inside their head.
6. Keep in touch with home (but not too much).
We’re lucky enough these days to have multiple ways of communicating with people who are far away facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger can all be used for video calling and we can obviously text. Check-in with people from home now and again but don’t spend so much time doing so that you forget to enjoy your university experience. Three years might seem like a long time, but trust us, it will fly by!