Feeling homesick? Well that’s totally normal, so don’t feel bad about it! In fact, Warwick University reckon 70% of their first year students will feel some sort of homesickness in the first few weeks of University starting. It’s certainly something I suffered with when starting in Aberystwyth University back in 2007. So, what can we do to help? Here are some tips and advice:
- The car might seem quite small for moving your stuff from home to University, but make sure you pack some of those home comforts! A favourite book or two (get that book shelf going), posters, fairy lights – something that’ll remind you of home and make your new room a bit more welcoming.
- In saying that – don’t spend too much time in your room! It’s so easy to just lock the door and hide, waiting for lectures to start but if you explore campus, the town, even linger in the kitchen for a chat with new housemates, you’ll soon find yourself more comfortable in your new home.
- Freshers week is full of events and parties and fairs – so the week after can seem pretty empty. It’s important to keep busy so that you’re not sat in your room every night after the initial busy start to term. Try those new sports clubs, take advantage of some new societies you might have seen at Freshers’ Fair.
- Talking to someone about how you feel. Honestly, everyone is going through the same feeling. If you don’t know anyone in your new University, chat to your bestie from school. They’ll probably be feeling the same too, and you can both offer support to each other.
- Keep in touch with the family, which let’s face it, is much easier now with modern technology! WhatsApp, FaceTime, you name it, you probably have access to it. Keep in touch with mum and dad, or your sister or Uncle – but not too much. Now is the time to discover your independence, and keeping in touch too much will probably make you feel even more homesick.
- Set a date on when you can go home – or when your family can visit you. When I started University, someone told my parents that 30 days distance would be perfect, so no home visits or visiting family for the first 30 days. Two weeks in and suffering with homesickness, I couldn’t see how I’d manage the next 2 weeks. By the 30 days however, plans to go home were long forgotten.
- Get out and exercise – join some sport clubs! It might sound odd, but exercise really does help those positive vibes and it’s much better than feeling sorry sat in your room with the curtains drawn. Plus, you’ll find some new friends outside of your flat and lectures. There are LOADS of societies to get involved with at Aberystwyth University – from snowboarding to horse riding, lacrosse to rugby.
- Finally, just remember that so many of your flatmates and friends will be feeling the same. They might not say it, and they might come across all happy and care free, but we bet that isn’t the case. It will get better with time, and just remember to be positive and enjoy this great period of your life.
So chin up – you’re not alone!