Coming to university can be terrifying. You’re thrust into a completely new environment, most likely away from your family and friends. Despite being constantly surrounded by people, it can be very easy to feel alone; and that’s okay. Homesickness, despite how irrational it can feel, is very real, however there are definitely ways to deal with it. Here are some tips on dealing with homesickness.
- Call your friends and family when you’re feeling down, but don’t spend all your time talking to them. It’s important to be an active participant in your new life, and it’s difficult to do that if you’re constantly chatting to people from your old one
- Say yes to as much as you can – when people invite you out, say yes. When someone asks you to go to a society meeting with them, say yes. It’s very hard to be homesick when you’re keeping busy. However, also make sure you’re also getting enough rest; I know I would feel my most homesick when I was exhausted and missed the idea of someone looking after me, so try not to burn yourself out too much.
- Eat well and exercise – I know this sounds like such a cliché piece of advice, but it’s cliché for a reason. The idea of a healthy body equalling a healthy mind is completely true; when you feel good physically, it’s easier to feel good mentally.
- Let yourself feel sad! What you’re experiencing is really tough and you don’t always need to be putting on a brave face. I used to give myself five minutes a day to let myself feel upset and miss home, but then I would get up and get on with life. You need to accept that you are upset, and give yourself time to feel that, but don’t let it take over your life.
- Remember that it is going to get better! It’s so difficult to do when you’re miserable and you don’t see yourself ever getting better, but you will! So many people experience homesickness at university and yet the same people get through it and end up loving their time here. University is terrifying, but it’s also so exciting – try to look at all the positive things you’re getting to do instead of dwelling on the negatives and you’ll get through it!
Illustration: Moira Scicluna Zahra