Homesickness. It’s not an easy thing – and trust me I should know.
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy University. I like my course, I love the town I live in, I (completely and totally) adore my friends. But every time I come back to uni after being at home – whether that’s for two weeks or two months- I get homesick.
Whenever I google ‘feeling homesick at uni’ or ‘missing home’, all that seems to come up is how homesickness is all a part of being a fresher… except I’m not a fresher anymore. I’m actually halfway through my second year. And thats when I start to worry: why do I still get like this,maybe it’s just me, perhaps everyone else is so much better at this uni thing.
Let me tell you now, that is 100% not the case.
If I’ve learnt anything from Uni so far, it’s that despite what it looks like, everyone gets homesick. Whether their family is a 2 hour train journey or a 4 hour plane flight away, missing home is normal. It’s always something I’ve struggled with – it hit me hard in my first year, and even though I’m waaaaay happier this year I still have my moments. Over time I’ve found ways that help to cheer me up when I feel those uni blues coming back, and I thought I would share my top 5 tips to hopefully help anyone else who might feel the same way!
Whenever I find myself wishing I was back home, I find it helps to stop and remind myself why I’m at University in the first place. Taking a step back and remembering the bigger picture can work wonders for helping homesickness. Reminding of the reasons why you chose to come to uni really helps; just thinking of where my degree will get me and all the things it will make possible to achieve really helps to remind me of the positives.
I know it’s very easy to sit in your room and feel sad and down all day (I’ve done this more times then I care to admit) but this never ever helps. Try to get yourself out and about. Take yourself down to town for a stroll, join societies, arrange to meet friends, even take yourself to the library or a cafe to sit and do some work. Just by being around other people I find myself feeling less homesick. When you keep yourself busy you find yourself getting to the end of the day and suddenly realising that ‘I want to go home mum and dad please come and collect me NOW’ hasn’t been the one thought on the forefront of my mind all day.
Surrounding myself with home is something that I always make a priority whenever I get a new room – decorating with posters, photographs, fairy lights and cushions are the things that make all the difference for me. Do whatever you want (within the limits of what you’re allowed to do) to decorate your room and make it feel like you. Walking into a room that makes me feel happy and comfortable helps home feel just that little bit closer. For me, coming from quite a big family, one of the things that I struggle with is how quiet It always feel when I come back to uni. Stick on the radio, watch a film, play some music… do the things that will make your room feel like your home when you’re in it.
Homesickness is something that everyone likes to pretend they don’t have. I know I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was struggling because everyone else seemed so happy and surely I was the only one feeling like this… right?? wrong. Talking to people is half the solution to homesickness. Talk to your friends, because chances are most of them will feel exactly the same as you do. Talk to your family because chances are they’ll have words of wisdom that will cheer you up. And if you’re really struggling, talk to someone else – almost every university will have a system in place to help students deal with homesickness. Don’t even hesitate to use these services. If I could change one thing about my first year at uni, I would have used these support systems because they would have done me the world of good. And even if there isn’t anyone to talk too face-to-face, remember that people are only a Facetime or text away.
My last and most important tip is to acknowledge and embrace homesickness. Ignoring it doesn’t help anything. Walking around and pretending that everything is totally fine and dandy is one of the hardest things to do, and we all know that bottling things up makes them seem 10 times worse. Embrace the fact that you feel homesick, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Allow yourself to get upset and allow yourself to feel sad. And always remember.. if all you want to do is stay in and watch Netflix with a cup of tea in bed then that is okay. You’re allowed to have moments to yourself when you want, and those are some of the most important days in cheering yourself up.
So there we go, my top tips for beating the uni blues. Thank you for reading, and if you have any more advice on how beat homesickness please comment below and let me know!