9 ways to deal with homesickness

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By in Freshers, International Students. Updated .

You might've been raring to go before uni started, but it's natural to feel a bit homesick sometimes. We've got some great tips on how to get through it.
HomesicksMoving away for university is a big transition, whether you've come from the other side of the world or half an hour down the road.

If you're suffering from homesickness, just remember you're certainly not the only one! Homesickness can be quite a personal feeling that not everyone feels comfortable talking about, so there's a chance those around you are feeling the burn too, but just keeping schtum.

To give you a helping hand, we've gathered some collective team knowledge on the best ways to combat that longing for home, so you can concentrate on making the most of your uni years!

There's reportedly been a 28% rise in UK students seeking counselling. Don't suffer in silence! 

Ways to deal with homesickness

  1. Don't give yourself a hard time

    homesicknoteThis is perhaps the most important message of all, so we've whacked it right at the top of the list.

    Feeling homesick isn't a weakness, nor is it something you should beat yourself up about. Missing home is something that affects most students – you'll only make the situation worse if you think of it as something you should feel guilty about.

  2. Don't spend too much time in your room

    uniroomIt might be tempting to treat of your room as your own little safe haven, but staying in too much will only serve to make you feel worse.

    Isolating yourself will make your feelings more intense, as you'll spend even more time pondering on what you miss about home.

    Try to keep yourself busy by taking part in social activities, studying at the library rather than in your room, getting a part time job or even trying out some extracurricular activities.

  3. Keep your expectations realistic

    universityOne of the biggest myths about university is that every day is like a wild party where you enjoy minimal responsibilities and get drunk most nights of the week.

    Well, for the majority of us this is a myth, anyway! Try to be realistic in what you expect from university and work out ways to improve your experience if it's not quite what you wanted.

    Uni is what you make it – if there's something you're not happy with, it's down to you to do something about it!

  4. Bring home comforts

    teddybearWhether it's your favourite teddy bear or a rag of a blanket your nan gave you when you were seven, we all have objects that make us feel comforted when we're not feeling our best.

    Whatever your comfort things are, make sure you bring them to uni with you! Don't be worried about the stick you'll get for having cuddley toys in your bedroom – chances are, your roomies have theirs hidden somewhere too!

  5. Stay positive

    postivethinkingOf course, this can be a lot easier said than done, but making a concerted effort to carry a positive attitude around with you will help you to combat homesickness in a major way.

    Plan things into your day that you enjoy doing and can look forward to, whether it's socialising with friends or a nice hot bath and episode of Bake Off.

    Staying positive also makes you a pleasure to be around, so you'll probably find it much easier to make new friends (which also helps to keep homesickness at bay).

  6. Ask for help

    studyThe jump from school to university can be tough to get your head around at first, and there's no shame in asking for help. If you're having any issues with your course, or anything else for that matter – don't suffer in silence.

    If you're feeling homesick, worrying about your studies or your finances will only make things worse, so take steps to sort any issues out or get support as soon as they arise.

    As well as approaching your lecturers directly, you'll also find that universities have counselling service available too – use them, that's what they're there for!

  7. Explore your surroundings

    exploreOne of the main reasons we feel homesick is often to do with being in unfamiliar surroundings, so it's a great idea to set aside some time to explore your uni town or city so you'll feel more at home.

    In fact, not getting to know their uni city better is one of the biggest regrets we've heard previous students cite when they graduate.

    Go for walks, do some sightseeing, volunteer with the local community or just get to grips with what's available on your uni campus. You're only around for a few years, so now's the time to make the most of it!

    If you're in need of some inspiration then take a look at our student city guides.

  8. Keep in touch (but not too much!)

    waitingforcallWhether it's a phone call, a Whatsapp group chat or a letter in the post, keeping in touch with your friends and fam helps to close that gap and make you feel more part of things back home.

    However, the other side of the coin is that keeping in touch too much can actually make you feel that distance more! The trick is to not let it get to the stage that you're communicating with people back home more than you are with people at uni.

    Remember you need to be doing fun stuff in between as well so you have something to tell people back home all about!

  9. Keep healthy

    stuffWhen you're feeling rubbish it can be tempting to lie on the sofa watching RomComs crying into a massive tub of Ben and Jerry's, but this is likely to make you feel a lot worse.

    Keeping healthy (and fighting off that freshers' flu) will help to keep you feeling much more positive about life – it's all about that positive cycle!

    Check out our list of low cost fitness ideas if you need some inspiration on how to keep fit and happy on a budget.

Finally, remember there's always help out there. If you're struggling with your mental health there are services available at your university which are free to access.

If you'd rather speak to someone anonymously, charities like Student Minds are there for support.

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5 Responses to “9 ways to deal with homesickness”

  1. Abbie

    28. Oct, 2016

    I feel homesick sometimes what can I do

    Reply
  2. Sean

    16. Oct, 2016

    This day has been hard for me. I lay here now 6 hrs from home at my job training for police and all i can think about is my dad and all the good times we had. I miss him and i wont see him for 2 months at least and after that i move another 20 hrs away for my job. I hope this gets easier because it feels unbearable at times even with my girlfriend here with me. Fishing hunting and shooting was something me and my dad enjoy. It makes me sad to think i wont be able to just run upstairs and say hey dad leys go shoot or lets go out fishing. I keep thinking i didnt take enough time with my dad wheni lived home and that i didnt make good use of much of it. Im not sure how im supposed to feel better but somehow writing this makes me think that it may help. To all others feeling like this… im sorry you do and i respect you for your courage. You will make it just as i think i will even though i lay here the only one awake, with family guy playing on the tv in my room on netflix with this constant feeling of sadness guilt despair uncertainty and some madness at myself as well as a pinch of disappointment. I dont want to lose more time with my dad. Hes 55 and im 21. This is so tough.

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      17. Oct, 2016

      You should cherish those times you’ve had with your dad and look forward to the many more times you’ll spend with him in future. I’m sure he’s missing you too.

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    25. Sep, 2016

    Thank you, this is a great article. Hope it will help me 🙂

    Reply
  4. Abdullah Khalil

    25. Sep, 2016

    Best way to Encourage me I think!!! I am fully drowned in Homesickess becoz its my First semester in University…….. But I am inspired and now I will bring a change in myself, this is what I needed, some little piece of advise

    Reply

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