Do you have any advice for homesickness at university? I am dreading going back, I find it very hard to adjust
I hope you’ll find it easier soon. Here’s some points my therapist wrote down for me. Maybe they’ll help you as well.
1. Get out of your room
It’s going to be worse if you sit in your room and exclude yourself from the world around you. In fact, this will only exaggerate your homesickness and loneliness, bringing you down further. University is packed with opportunities to try new things and meet new people – take up a sport, join student clubs and societies, find a part-time job, check out the campus social calendar. Staying busy and active is going to prevent feeling homesick and it will give you new friends and awesome days.
2. Keep a positive attitude
This is easier said than done, I know. But if you make the effort, it really is possible to maintain a positive attitude. Your homesickness at university isn’t going to get any better if you keep dwelling on the negatives – so keep reminding yourself of all the good things about being here. You could even write a list of positive things that happen each week: new things you’ve learned, new opportunities you’ve gained, new friends you’ve made. And even when you feel worst, make yourself smile – it really does help.
3. Stay healthy
It’s important to remember to stay healthy while you’re away from home. Not only will this make you feel a lot better in yourself, it will also help boost your energy levels and improve your concentration. Remember to eat well, get plenty of sleep, and regularly drink water.
4. Stay in touch with friends and family
Speaking to someone you feel close to can be an instant pick-me-up, so make sure you stay in touch with friends and family back home. Pick up the phone, use Skype or instant messaging, or even send letters and postcards. Don’t keep your homesickness at university a secret; sharing any problems will help you to start feeling better. But at the same time, don’t turn the conversation into an excuse to moan for an hour – remember to focus on the positives too! It’s hard in the beginning but you’ll get used to it with time and learn to enjoy the freedom of being on your own.
5. Make use of student support services
If you’re really struggling with homesickness at university, don’t be afraid to make use of your university’s student support services. Homesickness is completely normal, and universities are experienced in helping students settle in. Your university’s student support department may offer counselling services, student mentoring programs, or be able to offer suggestions on activities you could get involved with to start you feeling more at home.
6. Don’t give yourself a hard time
It’s perfectly normal to miss home once you’re away. It’s your first time standing on your own and relying entirely on yourself and that is a hard task. Feeling homesick isn’t a weakness, nor is it something you should beat yourself up about.
7. Set a date for when you’re visiting home, and stick to it.
If you’re feeling really homesick it may be tempting to run home at the first opportunity, but the first few weekends of uni are when friends are made and you really settle in. If possible, set a date a few weeks into term to visit home or for your family to visit you.