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10 ways to deal with homesickness at university

10 ways to deal with homesickness at university

Homesickness sucks – and regardless of whether you’re in your first year of university or your last, it can still affect you. Over half of UK students experience some degree of homesickness. Although there’s a common perception that homesickness only affects first year students and at the beginning of term, homesickness can actually hit at any time.

Don’t ignore it.

It’s OK to acknowledge that you miss home and that it makes you feel sad. Don’t try to resist the feeling. By acknowledging it, you’re letting yourself and your mind deal with the emotions that come with it.

Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are.

Although it’s hard, try not to isolate yourself at university. Throw yourself into the activities and experiences that each new term has to offer-it’s through doing this that you’ll come to recognise university as your home too.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Most universities have a Wellbeing service, which is used to offering support to students who are finding leaving home difficult for a variety of reasons. Tell your housemates how you’re feeling- chances are, they’ll have felt the same at one point or another, and if you’re finding yourself feeling increasingly down, then it’s OK to seek additional help from your GP or Wellbeing services.

Decorate your room with memories of home– but add new memories to it too.

Print off old photos of friends and family from back home to make your university room feel familiar- cheap pin boards adorned with pretty fairy lights are a great shout for this, and help make your room feel super cosy and cute.  Make sure you focus on the memories you’re making now though-create new memories as well as remembering the old.

Get active.

Exercise is a great and proven way not only to take your mind off problems, but also to release much needed endorphins which will help you feel happier and be able to manage your emotions.

Keep in touch with family and friends from home.

Whilst it might be tempting to immerse yourself completely in university life, totally isolating yourself from what’s going on at home could actually make you feel worse, and disconnected from your old life. Dropping the occasional text or facetiming friends at other universities will help remind you that the people you love still care about you- even if they’re not there to show you in person.

Be kind to yourself. 

Don’t beat yourself up for missing home, or perceive it as a bad thing. Just remember that these feelings are temporary, and will pass.

Make sure to distinguish between homesickness and problems with the university itself.

Try not to jump to conclusions that university isn’t for you

Plan events with friends to make university feel more homely.

A cosy night in watching movies, or organising for your house to all have dinner together once a week.

Appreciate the small things…

… rather than focusing on the bigger picture all the time. You might not be enjoying university at the moment, but remember that it’s not all negative- maybe you’re really enjoying a particular lecture, or get on well with a new housemate.

Holly Smith Editor