Top tips to defeat homesickness

27 Sep 2019
Student studying at desk

University can be the best time of your life, helped in part by your new-found independence! However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t start to miss the place that shaped you, home. It’s natural to feel a bit homesick at Uni and you’re certainly not the only person to feel like this. It can happen to us immediately, or it can creep up on us after a few weeks. Below are a few tips that can help you combat your homesickness.

Keeping in Contact

If you’re missing home, the second best thing to going home is to call home! We’re lucky to live in an age where it’s easy and cheap to contact our friends and family. Video calling can also really help to ease homesickness and is a nice way to see what’s happening at home. Whilst keeping in contact is really helpful, calling home too much can make things worse. The best thing to do is to keep set a schedule for calling home, one that keeps you in contact with your loved ones enough, but also gives you the space to get used to life at Uni.

Decorating your room

A really good way to settle into your new room is adding some home comforts or photos. The first thing I set about doing when I moved into a new room (or my desk at work) is to bring some items and photos that make it feel like my space. Just remember to use non-marking adhesives if you are putting up photos, or else this can be a costly room makeover. Decorating your space is all about making yourself feel comfortable in your new surroundings. Feeling happy and secure in your new room will be the first step towards avoiding homesickness.

Getting involved and leaving your room

I don’t say this lightly. I appreciate at the start of Uni it can be daunting to put yourself out there, but everyone is in the same position as you. You don’t need to be loud and proud but just be yourself and give everyone the opportunity to get to know who you are. The best thing to do is to try as many things as you can when you first start, you don’t get many opportunities to join such a wide variety of societies and sports clubs. It’s also rare to have such a wide group of new people to get to know! It’s good to get out of your room when you first start, even something as simple as watching Netflix in the communal living space rather than in your room can help you meet new people.

Seeing the City

If you are feeling homesick, exercise can be a really good distraction and also improve your mindset. Exercising releases ‘endorphins’ which are the body’s natural chemicals that uplift your mood. Whilst there is a Gym on campus and plenty around the city, having a walk, cycle, or run around the city is a great way to get to know Winchester and help you feel more like this is your home away from home. Plus, the hills will certainly add some intensity to an outdoor workout as well.

Planning your first trip home, before you arrive

As strange as it sounds, planning a date to return home before you move to Uni can really help the effects of homesickness. It’s good to give yourself a substantial amount of time, perhaps 6 weeks, to settle in at the Uni. Having a date set and knowing that you will see your family soon will really help, and it will give you something to work towards and look forward to if you are feeling homesick. Booked trips home can help to break up the semester and make it easier to cope when you are a new student, it also gives your family something to look forward to and can allay their worries.

These are just a few tips that can help you settle in when you first move to Winchester. If you are ever feeling like you need to talk to someone, our Student services are here to help. We also have Student Listeners who are available for you to talk to, they are especially adept at talking about homesickness and know it is one of the main challenges you can face. They have drop-in times of 2-3 PM every Tuesday and 10-12PM on Wednesday during term time. Also, you can email them on to arrange a time that suits you.

Hopefully, you won’t need these tips, but if you do I hope they have helped.

About the author

Luke works within our Hub Enquiries team, on our website LiveChat - drop him a line if you would like to ask him a question.

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