Although not everybody at university will experience homesickness, it is a completely normal part of moving away from home, especially if you’re moving away for the first time. You may feel homesick after leaving your family, friends and home comforts – but fear not, I have a couple of tips to hopefully help you to settle in sooner.
1. Focus on the positives!
Even though moving away to university may be particularly difficult during the first few weeks of university, remind yourself it does get easier. Remember why you decided to go to university and why you moved away from home in the first place. See university as a new place for exciting opportunities, aside from your studies.
2. Set realistic expectations
Most people have some idea of what moving out entails: whether that’s living with your newly made best mates, cooking your favourite dish daily or nobody telling you to do the dishes. Even though moving out is a lot of fun and great for your independence, don’t forget that you probably have increased responsibilities. Don’t worry if you don’t click with everyone in your flat – you can meet new people on your course or from societies and clubs!
3. Get stuck in
Try to not spend too much time at home in your room alone. Isolating yourself and wallowing in a pool of pity is easily done but it will only make you feel worse. Keep going to your lectures and seminars because a routine will help you to feel more settled. Pop along to a few socials to try out new activities and to meet new people – they could end up becoming your pals.
4. Keep in touch (but not too much)
If you’re missing you’re your family and friends, don’t be afraid to call home to catch up with them so you feel more included. Be careful not to always be in touch though, because it can make settling in more difficult and make you miss them more.
5. Bring home comforts to uni
Bringing your favourite pictures, blanket or other home comforts to uni will make your new room feel more homely and safe.
6. Look after yourself
Most people know that a healthy lifestyle is good for you physically but the benefits are often forgotten when it comes to mental health. It sounds simple but getting enough sleep, eating healthily and getting some exercise can really help to boost your well-being.
7. Ask for help
Don’t be embarrassed to talk to the people around you about how you feel. More likely than not, other students will feel similar to you. If you don’t feel like you can talk to your course mates, flatmates or friends, talk to your personal tutor or to student services who are always there to listen.
Lastly, remember it takes time to become accustomed to change. Be kind to yourself. You aren’t alone in how you feel.