Worried About Feeling Homesick During Freshers Week? Here's Our Tips
Moving away for university is a huge change, no matter if you’ve moved to a city or town a few hours away, a place that’s across the country or even to a whole new country.
Feeling homesick during the first academic year is normal and a lot of students feel the same way, especially during freshers week.
In fact, studies show that around 70% of freshers feel homesick within the first few days of uni.
To help you out if you’re worried about experiencing homesickness during freshers week and the first few weeks of term, we’ve put together some top tips!
Homesickness is a normal reaction to missing the people or places which you’re used to and are important to you.
When you’re away from home and in a new unfamiliar environment, you may feel sad, anxious, depressed, or suffer from physical health symptoms.
Missing familiar people and places when you’ve moved to university is common, but the feelings of homesickness can prevent themselves differently in different people.
Below we’ve listed a few signs that you may be homesick:
- Depressed or low mood
- Withdrawing socially
- Difficulty concentrating
- Little to no motivation
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Headaches or migraines
- Body aches and pains
- Eating too much or having no appetite
- Stomach issues
- Low energy
Tips For Dealing With Homesickness
If you want to beat homesickness during freshers week and the first academic term, we’ve got just the tips you need to do so.
Carry on reading to find out!
1. Keep Yourself Busy
Student life is hectic meaning there’s always something to get involved with whether it’s on or off campus.
If you keep yourself busy with things to do and spend time with new people, you’ll have less time to dwell on any negative feelings about missing your friends and family at home.
During freshers week and the start of the academic term, try to join a new society or group that you’re interested in as you’ll meet like-minded people.
Boredom can quite easily make feelings of homesickness worse, so try to embrace university life and keep yourself occupied.
Fingers crossed you’ll be too busy having fun and living your best life to feel homesick!
2. Stay In Touch With Loved Ones
Staying in touch with your friends and family at home whilst at university is important, especially if you’re feeling homesick.
Whether you video call, have a phone call or even just text, speaking to your loved ones and catching up can help to ease your negative emotions.
On the other hand though, don’t go overboard with your communication to friends and family as this can make you miss them even more and the distance can feel bigger.
Try to shift your focus to speaking with your flatmates and new friends at university, rather than sitting in your room on Facetime with your Mum every night!
If you’re really feeling the distance from your friends ans family at home, instead of speaking to them everyday, try to do it a few times a week.
3. Connect With Other Students
Feeling homesick is a normal part of starting uni, and one way you can help to combat any negative feelings is by connecting with other students.
Like we said earlier, around 70% of students feel homesick during the first few weeks of uni so chances are you’ll meet plenty of people who are in the same boat as you.
Be sure to get out there and speak to new people, whether it’s in your student accommodation, on campus, within lectures, on nights out or so on.
Approaching new people can feel daunting, but don’t worry, we’re sure a lot of people will be feeling a similar way to you!
4. Explore Your New City or Town
When it comes to coping with homesickness, make sure to get out and explore your new town or city.
Given that you’ve just moved to a whole new place which is unfamiliar, it’s a good idea to get out and get to know your new environment a little better.
Whether it’s strolling around campus, heading to the art galleries and museums, getting a taste for the nightlife, sitting in the local cafes or so on.
The world is your oyster in this new place, so get out and see what it’s all about.
We bet there’s so many exciting things to do and see!
5. Keep Home Comforts
Worried about feeling homesick? We’d suggest keeping home comforts close, this way you’ll have a little piece of home wherever you go.
Whether it’s photos of family and friends, bringing a blanket from home, a stuffed animal from when you were a child or so on.
Make sure to also decorate your student flat to make it your space, fill it with nice things like artwork, plants, rugs and so on.
If you spend some time decorating your space the way you like it, it will feel like home in no time!
6. Make Sure To Look After Yourself
When you’re feeling homesick and missing familiar people and places, it can feel hard to stay on top of looking after yourself, but it’s so important.
Self-care is vital for managing your mental health and wellbeing, and a few ways you can do this is by journaling, practising mindfulness, going for a walk, doing breathing exercises and so on.
We’d also recommend planning in some time to allow yourself to feel your feelings and reflect on your emotions, this way you’ll be able work through them.
It’s well known that physical health and mental health are closely linked, so make sure that you also eat a well balanced diet, stay hydrated and keep active.
Getting enough sleep is also key, as negative emotions can be worsened from a lack of energy.
6. Give Yourself Time
A lot of students find that the feelings of homesickness ease after the first few weeks, so make sure to give things time.
It may be tempting to book a return train ticket home too soon, or ask your parents to come and pick you up, but you should give yourself a chance to settle into university life.
Like the saying goes, let the dust settle, which means let a situation calm down before you try to do anything else!
It could be helpful to establish a routine if you’re trying to adjust to life at uni during the first few weeks.
7. Refrain From Comparing Yourself To Others
Staying positive and refraining from comparing yourself to others is easier said than done, but you need to focus on what’s important.
Remember, everyone’s experience at uni is different and some people may feel homesick whilst others may not, so try your best not to get in the habit of comparing yourself to others.
We know it’s hard with social media, but these platforms are just a highlight reel where people share their best moments.
Social media can be a killer for feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) so make sure not to keep checking what your friends and family are up to.
8. Access Support
Homesickness can lead to more serious mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
So, if you’re still struggling after the first few weeks, you should reach out and access available support.
Don’t suffer in silence if you’re suffering with homesickness at university, know that there are people you can talk to at your university like the wellbeing team, the team at your accommodation, as well as your GP.
Leaning on your support network and speaking with your friends and family is important too, sometimes it just feels better to open up!
There’s plenty of helpful resources on Student Minds for starting university and dealing with change, so make sure to take a read.
Whilst we hope this guide has been useful, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with homesickness, everyone has different strategies which work for them.
We’re wishing you a smooth transition into university life and hope you have an amazing time.
Remember to give yourself time to adjust, get yourself out there and meet new people!
Homesick uni? All sorted!
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