A student’s time at university after all the ‘freshers fun’ can be really daunting, especially if they begin to miss home. Luckily, we are here to help and guide all you newbies who may find it difficult to settle in. So, what are you waiting for? This is your ultimate survival guide for Dealing with home sickness.
You’re feeling home sick? Let me assure you, you are not alone! Missing home, your friends and being completely out of your comfort zone, is exactly what the beginning of university is all about. Don’t consider yourself an alien for having emotions – especially if you’re missing, ‘mums food’. I can guarantee many others are also feeling and experiencing the same– so let me advise you, don’t sulk in your rooms!
According to the National Union of Students, fifty to seventy per cent of students within the UK deal with homesickness during their time at university, especially those who move far away from home. Moving away from home is one of the most significant and life changing experiences and as a response to this, feelings of home sickness are expected. I know it’s probably easier said than done (especially if you’re reading this and missing home), but don’t sulk in your room! It’s going to be a lot harder to make friends that way. Go out there and explore the world (although Leicester may seem tiny, there’s lots to do)! Going out with flat mates or people you know from your course can make you feel so much better. If freshers week didn’t measure up to your expectations, don’t worry, we all like different things and do different things to enjoy ourselves. For the majority of my friends, freshers was a time where people got drunk and ended up on the kitchen floor way before the night had even begun – people usually mellow down and become normal after that, so if partying hasn’t been ‘your thing’ don’t worry! You’ll find more to do during the process of you settling down into your new city.
Socialising whilst at university can have an impressive impact on your health. It keeps your mind fresh. If you’re sat in your room all day you may think you’ll be okay but chances are you might not experience the full road to independence or even enjoy you’re course, which will make you seriously unhappy – and no one wants you to feel unhappy!
If you are feeling unhappy or particularly home sick, there are always people you can talk to. Universities are all equipped with great student welfare centres where you can go and get the support you need. Make good use of them as they are there for your benefit. Many of those who make use of the help and support available, such as counselling, find it extremely beneficial to overcome their feelings of homesickness.
Like I say, it is easier said than done, but with the right help, you might just be ok.
7 ways for 7 days
If you haven’t yet made a group of friends, don’t worry, it’s never too late – who knows, where you might meet your ‘friend for life’.
The key to making friends is to socialise! There are your flatmates and of course, and plenty of people on your course. If you’re feeling brave and are determined to get out of your comfort zone (or even if you’re not), I’d advise you to join plenty of societies and do as much socialising as you can- it’s a great way to meet like-minded people!
De Montfort’s own, Sonal Joshi said, “Settling in to university was scary for me, I knew no one and being from Wales didn’t help me either. I was in a whole different atmosphere but I soon settled in very quickly after meeting a good set of friends. Socialising is highly recommended as it stops you from missing home.”
If you’re the kind of person who loves being in a routine, plan one! Plan a route to uni, or a day when you do the weekly food shop, what to do on the weekend and so on (you get the idea, right?). Planning, in my opinion, encourages me to look forward to my free time, especially after a busy week!
You’ve never cooked? Chances are, a lot of people haven’t and it’s nothing to feel ashamed about. Living away from your mothers delightful cooking can be a pain but the best part of living out is you have many chances to experiment… with cooking! If you feel you’re not yet ready to dash a whole bunch of ingredients in a pot, don’t worry. Thank the lord for instant food- the ‘ready to cook in 4 minutes’ dishes. Feeling a challenge? Great! You can find quick and easy student recipes online.
4. Bedroom makeover
Little things can really help you settle into your new life fairly quickly. If it helps to decorate your room to give you a feeling and sense of ‘freedom’, then do so! Put posters and pictures up to remind you of home – chances are people are probably doing the same. Having a piece of home with you can really make you feel better.
5. Friends = Family!
Living away means your flatmates and friends are practically your family and are shoulders for comfort. Make new memories and have lots of fun! In the end, we all have different experiences so make the most of university…we’ll all miss it when it’s over!
6. Call or Visit home
Be sure to call home once or twice a week to let the old folks know how you’re getting on, they’ll be relieved to know you’re having the time of your life!
Why not even visit? It’s a great to visit and have some of that home cooking and you can talk about your time at uni.
Birmingham University student, Chloe claimed, “ I didn’t go home until after I had settled into my new lifestyle as I felt it would have made me not want to leave home again, but I called home every week to make me feel a little bit better, that even if I’m away… my family is just a quick call away”.
7. Enjoyment = Happy YOU!
Whatever you do with your time at uni, make sure you enjoy yourself in whatever way you feel most comfortable and confident. Break out of your comfort zones but don’t feel pressured into things you don’t want to, and make sure you do what makes you happy.
Always remember that if you are struggling with homesickness, you are not alone and there is always someone, whether it be a friend or a member of staff that you can talk to.