Coping with homesickness whilst at University

Two students standing on the bridge outside the Oracle in Reading.

Homesickness can affect students at any time during their studies, so if you feeling homesick know that you are not alone! This blog will discuss different methods you can use when homesickness starts to hit. 

  1. Keep busy!  

If you pack your days with plenty of things to do, you won’t be thinking about how you miss home as much. The worst thing to do is to sit at home and feel sorry for yourself! You could take part in a new society, meet up with friends or learn a new hobby. 

  1. Talk to you friends. 

You can almost guarantee that they will be feeling the same too. Not only this, they might offer you advice on how they are dealing with homesickness which you could use as well.  

  1. Don’t avoid uncomfortable situations. 

If you feel uncomfortable going to an event to meet new friends, throw yourself in and be brave. These events are important to meet new people and experience university life to the full. You will soon feel more comfortable. Getting involved in societies is a great way to meet people with similar interests as you, which can help you build a community at university.  

  1. Explore your new home. 

Instead of thinking back to all the great things at home, start exploring your new city and think instead about the benefits of being there. One of my favourite things to do is to walk around the lake on campus and around the Harris Gardens. Another thing not to be missed is brunch at Cafè Yolk, which is just a short walk from campus. 

  1. Make your bedroom more homely. 

Put up pictures that make you smile. This should be a place that you want to go back to at the end of a busy day. A place for you to relax. 

  1. Meet up with your friends back home who are at other universities. 

This will help you still be part of university life, whilst spending time with people you already feel comfortable with. It can also give you a new perspective to your university life and give you new ideas on how to make the most of your time there. 

  1. Regularly exercise.  

Exercise is not only amazing for you physically, but also mentally. Endorphins released when you exercise make you happy. It is amazing for your mental health and will help you to think positively when you are feeling down. 

  1. FaceTime! 

If you still feel really homesick, you can FaceTime or Skype your family back at home. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this too frequently, especially if you are only just starting university, as you could end up missing them more and not giving university life a chance. 

If you are struggling with homesickness and need some extra support whilst at university, we are here to help: 

  • Talk to the Counselling and Wellbeing team who can offer you professional counselling, wellbeing and mental health support. 
  • Talk to the Student Welfare team who can help you with any personal difficulties you may experience during your time at the University. 
  • The Student Wellness Check – A University of Reading assessment tool that asks you questions and gives you contacts for your needs. 

Whilst feeling homesick can feel really rubbish, it shouldn’t be something that inhibits you from living your life and it won’t last forever. Soon enough Reading or wherever you may be will become home.

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