Written by Abi.
All views are Abi’s.
It’s getting to that point in the year where the excitement of WelcomeFest is dying down, and the realisation that you actually came to University to get a degree is hitting you hard. It is around this time that a lot of students (including me) start to experience homesickness.
Homesickness is something that thousands of students experience every year when a person misses people or places that they are familiar with and is extremely common in students who leave home to go to University. Even if your hometown is only a few miles from the University, it is still normal to feel this anxiety because you have moved out of your comfort zone. This blog has been written to show quite how normal this is, and to give you a few tips on how to handle it!
1. Don’t retract yourself
One of the symptoms of homesickness is removing yourself from social situations, maybe spending a lot of time in your room away from everyone. It may be difficult at first but make that push to be involved! Simply sitting in silence but in the company of someone else has been seen to increase a person’s mood and make them feel a little less lonely. If you have some work to do, rather than locking yourself up in your room head to the library to be surrounded by other people who are potentially experiencing the same thing.
2. Invite your family/friends
When you’re feeling homesick, your automatic go-to solution is going home. However, this can sometimes make coming back even harder. So why not instead invite your family or friends from home here? You can show off your new city, save money on train tickets/petrol, and can create lovely memories here, making it a little easier to settle in.
3. It’s not too late!
Yes, all of the fairs have been and gone but it’s not too late to join a sports team or a society! Even if you are a second or third year, you can still join something new that you might be interested in. Most clubs and societies will do socials every week alongside other activities, so it is a great way to get out of your room and meet new people! A lot of them will have Facebook groups or pages, so join that and have a chat with the committee members and see if you are interested.
4. Give It A Go
Despite WelcomeFest being over, our Give It A Go activities will be continuing on all year round! This is a great way to try something new and meet new people. Such a massive range of activities are available through this ranging from trying out new sports (and then potentially joining the team if you enjoyed it!), going on trips to new places or learning new skills! There are so many activities available so I am sure there will be something for you. Find out what is coming up here.
5. Stay positive
It sounds silly, but a good way to pull yourself out of this feeling is to keep positive. You may be feeling down now, but this is not how you are going to feel for your whole University experience. This is, of course, easier said than done, but plan things to look forward to whether that is going out with friends or just watching an episode of your favourite show on Netflix after a long lecture!
If you realise that you are maybe struggling more than just being a bit homesick, please make sure you reach out and get help. We have so many services available on campus like the Advice Centre on the second floor of Student Central, and the mental health support team who you can access through Central Hub on the first floor. All of these are here to look after you when you need it so make sure that you take full advantage of that!
It may feel tough now, but the first three weeks are always the hardest. Before long you’ll be wondering how you ever lived at home, especially when you go home for Christmas and your family drive you mad!