Feeling homesick is almost an expected part of moving away from home, especially if you haven’t experienced anything like it before.
Students often move hours away, sometimes crossing countries, to start University.
But just because it’s a normal part of the experience, doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself more comfortable and try to reduce that anxious, or nauseous feeling induced by missing home, family and friends.
This is particularly important for first year, as I find the longer you’re away from home, the more you get used to it. Still, some people will feel homesick no matter how used to it they are, so it’s worth giving these a go if you haven’t already.
- Make your bedroom cosy, and familiar.
I’ve already written a post similar to this point, so I’ll keep it brief. Your bedroom, whether you’re in halls of residence or a private flat or house, is yours and yours alone. Making it familiar and comfortable will go a long way for when you’re feeling upset or homesick. Bring some things from your bedroom at home, decorate, buy a blanket and some fairy lights. Anything you think would relax you. If you’re allowed candles in your room, they’re a great idea. If not, invest in a few battery operated ones. They’ll still make your room feel cosy and warm in the evenings.
- Make friends, and talk to them about it.
Everyone at University is in the same boat, particularly in your first year. Whilst there will always be a few students who seem to have absolutely no issue living away from home, for the most part, you’ll find that many people are also feeling homesick, missing their friends and family. When you make friends, it’s not a bad idea to talk to them about it. Having someone to talk to can reassure you that you’re not alone, and you’ll often find that you can bond with people and become closer because you have something in common. There’s nothing worse than feeling homesick and lonely, but with friends around you that care about you and make your evenings great, it’ll be so much better.
- Keep regular contact with family and friends.
While you’re bound to be very busy as a student, you need to remember that it’s alright to call your family and friends whenever you want to. Talking to or messaging people can make you feel much better, and at the level technology is now, you could spend however much time you want to on facetime with your mum! Make sure you don’t isolate yourself by doing this – call them in the evening when you’re free or whenever everyone else is busy – you can have a social life and talk to your family without feeling guilty!
Writing is another good idea. If you like the concept of having letters to keep, writing traditionally is a really nice idea, and means you have something to look forward to. I’ve kept all the letters I’ve received over the last two years!
- Surround yourself with photos and memories.
If you want to, print off a load of photos of your family, friends, and happy memories and cover your walls in them! There’s nothing better than being surrounded by familiarity, so this will make you feel right at home, and hopefully a little more positive if you’re upset. It doesn’t cost much to print off some photos, but if you want a more minimalist look, just pick up a few basic photo frames and shove a few in those, dotted around the room. Either way, they’ll remind you of your loved ones and make you feel better when you’re homesick.
- Don’t go home!
This might sound odd, but for some students, it’s worth considering. Particularly for those who are only an hour or two away from home, there’s a temptation to go back for a weekend, reading week or any other days off you find yourself free! While this means you’ll be missing out on experiences with your friends, it also reduces your independence and ability to live away from home. At least for the first term (or year) try to avoid making short trips home just for the sake of it. The homesickness that you feel will pass, but it’ll pass a lot more quickly if you work through it, rather than try to solve it by going home.
Hope these help!