7 Ways to Deal with Homesickness at University
No matter how amped you are about being at uni, chances are you’ll still get hit by sudden bouts of homesickness from time to time.
Feeling homesick while you’re away at university is perfectly natural and something that most people have to deal with at one point or another.
Whether it’s your first year or your third, whether you’ve moved five hours away or five minutes, missing friends and family from home can be a real upset for many of us.
But you are by no means alone. With our years of experience helping students find happy, cosy shared ‘homes away from home’, we have a few pointers that we’d like to share to help you manage your homesickness when you’re feeling down.
Check out some of our tips for how to deal with homesickness at university.
1. There’s Nothing Wrong with You, so Don’t Blame Yourself
It might seem like everyone else is having the time of their lives ALL the time, but trust us, feeling homesick is nothing new for university students.
Try not to blame yourself and definitely don’t suffer in silence — beating yourself up about feeling low isn’t going to help you feel any better.
If you’re missing home, talk to your housemates and friends about it. Chances are they’ve felt the same way at some point — being open and honest with each other will help you recognise when one of you needs a helping hand.
Let yourself feel homesick for a bit, if you feel the need to cry then do, don’t bottle it up. Afterwards arrange a meet up with some of your new friends or housemates, go for a drink and enjoy some company, you might find it does a world of good.
2. Stay in Regular Contact with Family & Friends Back Home
Staying in contact with friends and family from home can help to make the distance feel less. Now, we’re not suggesting that you have to ring home every day, but a weekly phone call, Skype or FaceTime to check in with the fam will definitely help to keep the homesick blues from rearing their ugly head unexpectedly.
Try not to spend so much of your time contacting back home that you’re spending more time on the phone than you do with your new friends and coursemates though. Spending too much time speaking to family and old friends can make you notice the separation more, and actually make you feel more homesick. Your friends and family will still be just a phone call away.
3. Don’t Lock Yourself Away in Your Room
Tempting as it may be to hide yourself away or stay tucked up in bed when you’re feeling down, holing up in your room is only going to make you feel more alone. Feeling homesick at university isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Remember that your new housemates and coursemates are probably feeling a lot of the same things as you, you aren’t the only one who’s moved away from home for potentially the first time.
Yes, there are times when we all need a little space to ourselves to unwind, but try to balance your alone time with social activities.
There are tons of activities and societies you can get involved in via the LSU, from sports clubs to community projects, there really is something for everyone.
4. Exercise Regularly
Just like locking yourself away in your room won’t do you any favours, neither will plonking yourself on the sofa with a soppy film and a kilo tub of ice cream!
Comfort eating and skipping out on your regular exercise regime will only lead to you feeling more fed-up.
Starting university is a learning experience for most people. Feeding yourself well, getting the food shop in, taking yourself out for a walk or to the gym are all things that you may forget about whilst settling into your new routine, but will also give you a boost. Make a valid effort into getting outside, and teaching yourself to cook proper meals. Remind yourself that a happy body is a happy mind.
5. It’s Not All Wild Nights & Kodak Moments
Despite what you may have been led to believe before you started uni, it’s not always going to be non-stop fun, wild parties, and inspirational lectures 100% of the time!
Like anything, university requires a certain amount of organisation and routine in order to get the work done and this can sometimes bog you down and lead to you feeling homesick.
Taking the time to be realistic and asking yourself what it is you want to get out of your overall uni experience will help you to focus on the things that are really important to you.
If you discover certain aspects of uni aren’t quite what you thought, try to work out a way to improve those situations or modify your routine to prioritise what you feel is important.
6. Take Time Out To Do Something You Love
Sometimes just taking the time to do something you really enjoy can help lift your mood and combat homesickness.
Whether it’s reading a book, playing an instrument, having a massage, or simply going for a walk or a coffee with friends; ‘self-care’ by planning a little ‘me time’ into your day can have a really positive effect on your mood.
Have you got some hobbies that you love? Loughborough University offers a range of clubs and societies, from Paintball and Belly Dancing, to Tabletop Gaming and Coffee Club. There are so many to choose from, whether it’s something you have done in the past, or something new you’d like to try.
7. There’s Always More Help out There
If you find that you’re struggling with homesickness more regularly, or that you’re feeling down most of the time, there are services available at the university and within the community that can help.
HeadsUp! is a Loughborough student-led group promoting positive mental health and wellbeing to help give support and raise awareness of mental health issues. The university also has a dedicated Mental Health Support Team.
Alternatively, there are a number of services available within the local community, including community mental health teams which are free to access.
If you’re looking for your ideal, cosy, happy home away from home then take a look at our student houses now.
With a wealth of knowledge and experience in the student housing sector, we know that your experience as a tenant with us will be the best! Contact us today to Find Your Happy!
Andrew Chell can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 01509 552814
Email: [email protected]
Office: 66 Ashby Road, Loughborough LE11 3AE
Published 4th November 2019