Sometimes university isn't quite what you expected - perhaps you don't make the friends you thought you would, or your accommodation isn't the best. Or sometimes it all works out and you have the best university experience possible with great friends, a fantastic course and the best accommodation going. It can all turn out very differently depending on where you are, who you meet and how you do things - but one thing that can hit all of us at times is homesickness. Even the strongest, most independent individual can feel homesick at times and just want to catch the first train home to mum and their own bed. When Freshers Flu strikes, we all just want to curl up in a ball under the duvet and have our mum bring us chicken soup - so how do we deal with this when mum is hundreds of miles away?
Here's my top tips for combating homesickness while at university:
- Don't be afraid to call home, your parents will love to hear from you but at the same time, make sure you are not calling every day. Sometimes indulging yourself is the worst thing you can do, so try limiting to once a week, or once every few days if you can't cope.
- Photos of your family, friends and pets on your walls are great for making your feel like they are with you and they make your walls look good.
- Don't just sit in your room crying and feeling sorry for yourself or you will never make any friends and you will feel even more homesick. Get busy - throw yourself into your course, join societies and generally keep yourself busy and moving. The busier you are, the less time you have to think about missing home and the more you will realise you can cope.
- Spend time with your flatmates or other friends - put time into new friendships because these are the ones that will become your adopted family over the next three years.
- Talk to friends, chances are they've felt the same as you at some point and you'll both feel less alone for chatting about it.
- Arrange for your family or friends to come and visit for a weekend - it will give you something to look forward to and you can have a huge catch up when you see them which means you are less likely to feel homesick in the meantime.
- Likewise, arrange for a weekend when you will be going home to see everyone - make sure it is not every weekend, but once a month or so should be enough to make sure you feel less homesick.
- Don't be embarrassed to take along something that makes you feel comforted like an old teddy or blanket, it's great for when you feel a bit down and you can always hide it in your wardrobe if you don't want anyone to see it!
What helped ease your homesickness the most? Have you got any other top tips to share?