Going to Uni is a massive change, there’s no doubt about it.
You go straight from being at home where meals are cooked for you, your washing is done, you might even get an allowance of money to spend each week (unless you have a job which is very lucky in this climate!) At Uni – you have to do this all yourself and yes, it’s like being thrown in at the deep end. You may miss having someone do things for you or just being at home in general and there are plenty of people who succumb to homesickness very early on or even a delayed reaction of a few weeks. However, you’re not on your own and there are a few things that can really help you out so it doesn’t hit you as hard.
1) Remember – everyone’s in the same boat.
It’ll do you a world of good to remember that most people at Uni are going to be feeling the same sorts of emotions. Don’t feel at all embarrassed by it – it’s not school, people tend to be more understanding. Go and talk to a friend and tell them how you’re feeling and if they are feeling the same do something together like watch a film or play a game of pool and make things feel more ‘home-like’. It will take your mind off things.
2) Don’t isolate yourself
The worst thing you can do is keep to yourself as you’ll just feel lonely. Sitting alone in your room whilst everyone else is having a good time outside will make you feel as if everyone else is having fun without you and that you are alone at Uni – which you aren’t. The more time you spend on your own thinking about it, the worse it’ll get so go and talk to other people and hear about their lives or even have a night out. Writing up those lecture notes can wait, you can allow yourself one night off and you might even forget what you’ve been worrying about!
3) Go home for a weekend
Or even more if you’re close enough! It’s really good to have one foot in Uni life and one foot back at home, so you can get some perspective outside the world of campuses and students. Remember, whilst you’re there studying, things are still happening in your home-town and it’ll do you good to go back and see how things are getting on. You could even arrange to meet up with your school friends if they are back one weekend and stock up on some home-cooking to bring back with you! Most students keep the weekends for sleeping so you won’t miss out on much and you’ll feel refreshed when you go back (and probably very well fed too!)
4) Invite your family to come and see you
If the cost of travel is high or it’s difficult to do by public transport you can always ask your family to come visit you at Uni and show them how well you’re getting on. You can bet they’ll jump at the chance to see too! It means they’ll be able to inspect how clean your room is, meet your friends, see where you like to hang out and what you get up to. It’ll be good to see a familiar face and you’ll probably be given plenty of things to stock up on – (take this chance to give them dirty washing!)
5) But, if they live very far away…video call
Video-calling software such as Skype or Facetime is something most students will use a lot at Uni! A traditional phone call home is always good but if you can video call. You can have a proper chat for as long as you want and it’ll be just like talking to them in person. And you could even do a group chat if the software allows you to, meaning that you could chat to a whole group of friends in one go! Believe me, it’ll be one of the best things you do at Uni and the easiest way to see the people you miss.
Have a think about these pointers if you ever feel down, but if you’re still feeling homesick after trying all these things, there are always people to talk to like welfare reps, peer support or even your personal tutor. It may seem like it but you’re never alone at Uni, remember that there’s always going to be people there willing to help. However, once you get into the swing of things you should feel a lot better and hopefully be sorted until the end of term – though you’ll then have to deal with something else: Uni-sickness! But that’s a story for another day!
Written by Neela Kumar