For many students arriving at university, this is the first time you will have lived outside of your family home – and this can be pretty overwhelming! We know how that feels, and we’re here to remind you that you’re not alone – and to hopefully give you some ideas on how to manage homesickness at university too…
Print out some photos
Before you go to university, make sure you print out some photographs of you and your loved ones back home – your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your best friends and so on. You can keep them in a stack on your desk or next to your bed, and flick through them whenever you need to see a friendly face. Nowadays, you can also have photographs printed onto blankets, cushions, mugs… meaning you can make your loved ones part of the decor, and with you always!
Make time to catch up
With modern technology and social media, there is no reason why you can’t easily stay in touch with your friends and family back at home. Of course you’ll be busy – and so will they – but if you set aside time specifically to catch up, you’ll avoid the situation where it’s suddenly been a month and you’ve not heard from your bestie. Keeping in touch with your ‘home people’ is an easy way to manage homesickness at university.
Remember: everyone’s life is continuing as normal. You may have made a huge change and embarked on a new life in a new city, but other people are living their lives too and it’s nothing personal if it takes them a day or two to reply to your Whatsapp messages. Try not to worry about being forgotten, because you won’t be!
Make friends with your flatmates
This goes without saying but homesickness and loneliness are heavily linked – so be sure to get to know your flatmates and spend time with them. Cook together, watch TV together, study together; these people will be like your family during term time, and it makes sense to befriend them. They’ll be able to help you out when you need it, and be a shoulder to cry on when you’re feeling down. Plus, it’s hard to feel lonely when you’re constantly in the company of others. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some alone time, but you’ll feel less homesick when you spend time with other people.
Plan a trip home
Having something to look forward to is always a good thing – and while you don’t want to rely on being able to go home at the drop of a hat, if you plan and organise a trip home then it will definitely help you manage homesickness at university. Having that date in your mind and in your diary will be so helpful when it comes to getting through the harder days and evenings.
Make your space cosy
Blankets, cushions, soft lighting… anything you can think of to make your student accommodation cosy, go for it! By making your new space somewhere you *want* to spend time, you’ll definitely be able to manage homesickness at university a little bit more easily.
Hopefully these tips are helpful, and remember – you’re never alone. No matter how bubbly and happy the people around you may seem, they could be struggling too!