Freshers week has been and gone, the novelty of moving away from home has worn off now you realise that you have to do all of your own washing and cooking and although you thought you wouldn’t, you’ve started to feel a little bit homesick.
University is the one time that you will realise how much you need and miss your parents as well as your ever-annoying siblings and pet dog. Unsurprisingly, homesickness is uncommon amongst those just starting university, after all it is a big transition involving a substantial lifestyle change. However, you don’t have to suffer with your homesickness whether you’re just missing your mum’s cooking or are on the verge of tears.
1 – Call home
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you’re feeling a little bit homesick then you should call home. Skype is a great way of getting in touch with your loved ones and the fact that you can video call is perfect as you can interact more than you could by just making a call.
One important thing to remember is that it is not a good idea to call home more than once a day as this could intensify your feeling of homesickness and won’t be as beneficial. You also run the risk of worrying your parents if you contact them too much and you could pick up on this.
2 – Go out with your friends
This will take your mind off what is going on at home and will give you the time to focus on your new life at university. Don’t forget that your uni friends are likely to be feeling the same as you so it would be good to go out as a group so that you can all focus on having a good time.
Most people also feel better after getting themselves ready so after having a shower, doing your hair and putting on a nice outfit you are likely to feel refreshed and happier. Girls, doing your make-up and applying a slick of nail polish can also work wonders for your mood.
3 – Change your mindset
The phrase ‘it’s all in your head’ actually does mean something and changing your mindset can really help you to get over your homesickness. Rather than dwelling on the fact that you are missing home try to focus on the fact that you are embracing your new life and have an exciting university career ahead of you. You’ll be surprised about how much changing the way you think will change the way you feel, the stronger you are, the better you will feel.
4 – Join a club
You may have had social commitments at home such as a football team, dance club or even a chess club. If this is the case, just because you have gone to uni doesn’t mean that you have to give these things up; there will be an array of clubs and societies that you can join. You could even find something new to do that you may have never thought to do at home such as cheerleading or basketball.
If you opt for an activity that you used to do at home, the void of missing that sport or hobby will be somewhat filled. If you choose to do something different then you will have something new and exciting to focus on.
5 – Visit home
Just because you have decided to move away to uni, that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to go home to see your family and friends. Allow yourself time to take trips home but make sure that it is not something that you choose to do every week. Not only will it not help you to combat your homesickness but you will spend a fortune on train tickets or petrol and it will take up a lot of your time which could be better spent studying.
6 – Decorate your room
Put a few pictures of your family, friends and pets on the wall to remind yourself of happy home times, not to the extent where it is like a shrine to your pre-uni life but just enough to make you smile. You should also put up some pics from freshers week to remind you of what a good time you had and to further the notion that you have embarked on a new chapter in your life.
You should also bring an item from home to remind you of your home comforts whether this is a teddy, poster, duvet set or something simple like your favourite towel. Having just one thing that you are familiar with will be sure to make you feel better and will remind you of home even though you will be in a brand new room.
7 – Don’t stay in your room
Although you may have found a sanctuary in your new room, sitting alone for long periods of time will not make you feel better and it is easy to get lost in your thoughts. Join your housemates in simple things like watching TV where you will be able to bond and share your thoughts and opinions.
Whilst uni can feel like it is all-go and it is good to have some alone time during these hectic years, spending time as a small group of housemates or course mates can be great as you are able to share more and the intimacy can help you to build the foundations of a life-long friendship.
8 – Speak to someone
If you are feeling really upset and homesick it is important that you talk to someone. Your friends at uni will all be in the same position as you and will be able to offer some impartial advice and comfort. Alternatively, if you can’t talk to a friend there will be lecturers that will be more than happy to sit with you for half an hour as well as university counselling services. You might even take comfort in an online forum or Facebook group where there will be other people that are willing to relate to you.
9 – Send a letter
We might be living in the technological age but that doesn’t mean that sending a letter has to be something of the 90’s. Whilst a text or message on Facebook can be quite impersonal, receiving a letter in the post can be a nice little pick-me-up after a long day of lectures and seminars.
Your grandparents will be good for this as they are probably the most familiar with the postal system (there was a life before e-mails you know) and you never know you might get the odd picture or poem as well as a short note. You can help to combat the vanishing of handwritten letters.
10 – Phone a friend
Everyone has their best friends whether you have known them from birth, school, work or a club and whilst you may not be living with them or may not see them as often now that you’re at uni, your best friends will always be there for a chat when you need them.
If your fellow friends have also recently started university, they too may have the homesick bug and there are no better people to relate to than those you are closest too. A good chat with your bestest is guaranteed to make you feel better whether you need a heart-to-heart, a good bitch or gossip about those at home.