Homesickness at University

If you’ve never spent a considerable amount of time away from home before homesickness can hit you badly. I went to university 300 miles away from home, and it wasn’t an option for me to go home whenever I felt like it (well, it would have cost me around Β£200). But I don’t regret moving so far away from home, and actually I still believe that going to uni that far away from home was the making of me.

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Homesickness isn’t fun, it can be horrible. I remember when it hit me the first time in my first year at uni. It wasn’t within the first few weeks of being in Newcastle, in fact it only really hit me about 2 weeks before I was due to go home for Christmas. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with lots of deadlines, having not been home for 2 months, the anxiety of getting myself home, worrying about my first university exams, as well as trying to think about finding somewhere (and someone) to live in second year.

So the point of this post? Not to share all of my homesickness stories, but to give you some tips about how to deal with homesickness πŸ™‚

1. Make your room homely

Don’t worry what people say, but if you can bring things from home then do. Your favourite duvet cover, favourite cushion, photos from home, favourite pyjamas, even your teddy! Bringing things from home will help your room feel more familiar and more like yours.

2. Distract yourself

Call/FaceTime your friends/family. Arrange a pizza/film night with your flatmates, get on with some work, go shopping. Do anything but sit around thinking about it. I know it’s easier said than done but sitting around by yourself and doing nothing is the worst thing to do.

3. Tell someoneΒ 

Tell your friends/family home you’re feeling. You can almost guarantee someone else is feeling the same. Even if you’re not the most social of people, having a few friends/coursemates at uni will help.

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4. Try not to go home

If you live down the road from home try not to go home unless you really have to. Knowing how to get yourself through these hard times without the option of going home will really help you in the long run.

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5. It will get better

Remind yourself it will get better. I promise it will get better and you’ll wonder what on earth you were so upset about. During my MSc there was one day I properly broke down on the phone to my mum. My room was so hot, I wasn’t sleeping, I was tired, I was annoyed at the guy in the room next door to me… It was all so much. But later that evening when I’d gathered myself I couldn’t help but laugh at myself wondering what I’d got so upset about. It will get better.

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I hope that some people may find this post helpful πŸ™‚ Let me know if it helps you or if you’ve gone through homesickness yourself.

How do you go about combatting homesickness?

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22 thoughts on “Homesickness at University

  1. This was a really interesting post! I go home every weekend to work so I have never really felt homesick because I can normally count the number of hours I have left before I’m on a train going home but I certainly have times where I can’t wait to go home. It might be because I go home so much that I haven’t felt homesick but I definitely think each case is individual. I agree that you shouldn’t just rush home straight away as soon as you start to feel a little homesick but I think if it’s been a hard week, or it’s been ages and the feeling still hasn’t subsided, I don’t really see the harm in going home πŸ™‚

    • Oh definitely πŸ™‚ if you can’t stick it out and going home is an option or is going to help you should go home πŸ™‚ Do you find you still manage to get work done going home at the weekends or do you work more during the week to make up for it?

  2. I was 2.5 hours from home during my college years. Mom and I had an agreement that I would come home every other weekend. Once I joined a women’s fraternity that schedule got messed up a bunch because of commitments to meetings or events we were having. But I always enjoyed going home to see my mom and my cat – lets be honest, it was mostly for the cat.

    Everyone is different. My mom raised me to be extremely independent but she’s also one of my best friends. So I loved getting to go home and see her. I still do the every other weekend even though I’m out of college and working a full time job. Having my weekends where I can go home and see her is awesome.

    • It’s definitely important to keep seeing family, especially as you grow up. I Don’t see anywhere near enough of my grandad/uncle these days because my dad doesn’t really worry about seeing them very often which is sad

  3. Great tips! I felt the exact same and it’s one of the worst feelings when you don’t have the option to jump on a train last minute. I think staying away from home if you live close is a great tip – going home frequently just makes leaving worse! Xx

  4. I find that homesickness is good at bringing people together, friends and family. It makes you appreciate what you have. My biggest tip would be writing letters or emails – old fashioned for sure but I was able to write personal things I didnt feel right saying over skype or text. xx

    • Old fashioned letters in the post sounds great! Such a good idea, almost like little pick me ups that arrive randomly! Some of my flat mates used to get little care packages in the post from
      Home but I never bothered with it, but it would definitely be a lovely idea!

  5. This was really helpful! I’m going to university in September and I’m going to Portsmouth (hopefully!) And well, I live in Yorkshire… I’ve been worried about homesickness but I know I’ll be okay if I follow these tips ☺️

    • Good luck! No one thought i would stick it out at uni so far away from home as I was such a home girl. But it definitely was the making of me and I’m glad I went that far away from home. My mum thought I was going to quit within 2 weeks but I had a good number of friends and I really loved it πŸ™‚ good luck with your uni application/a levels πŸ™‚

  6. Homesickness hit me REALLY hard my first few years of uni, but I’ve gotten used to it being 5,000+ miles away now. This is the longest I’ve been without seeing my family, just over 6 months and counting. But I Skype with my family every week and my dad and auntie give book suggestions to each other so we have something special to talk about.

    Rachel || anotherstationanothermile.com

  7. AAww.😚 it’s a lovely post. I’m giving entry tests for the unis so these tips are very helpful fir me. Thanku so much for sharing this.😊
    Xxx

  8. Have been through this! Do believe it makes us stronger. I also had a few meltdowns on the phone to my mother that I later could laugh about πŸ˜›
    Going to university far away from home is actually an amazing experience I think everyone should do it

  9. I was so glad I got along really well with my first flat mates. It really helped me get through homesickness. Also, it is a city that I have lived in before so I ended up getting a mixed feeling between missing home sort of being back home

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