Leaving behind friends, family and familiar places, moving away to university is a big step for anyone and it’s not unusual to feel homesick. Homesickness is a feeling of pressure or consternation caused by detachment from people and places that you know. Departing from home to go to university is a very common cause of Homesickness.
Symptoms of homesickness include:
- a disturbed sleeping pattern
- feeling angry, nauseous, nervous or sad
- feeling isolated, lonely or withdrawn
- feeling overwhelmed, insecure, anxious or panicky
- feelings of low self-esteem or self-worth
- a lack of appetite or concentration.
Tips to overcome the overwhelming feeling of homesickness
1. It is normal what you are feeling
The chief step in prevailing over homesickness is realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with you. Chances are most people are feeling varying degrees of homesickness and life—you can’t do it without going through some sort of habituation period.
Admitting and accepting your homesickness is a way of learning how to live a new life. Once you know you’re homesick, you can start working towards getting over it.
2. Get used to your new surroundings
A huge part of feeling homesick is feeling unbearable with the unknown. Get more accustomed with your college’s campus and the neighbouring region by sauntering around and surveying, either alone or with friends. Scope out cool little cafes to grab lunch in when you’re running late and quiet spots to clear your head. Having the feeling of the campus “belongs ” to me, will make you more comfortable at college.
3. Bring home comforts
Whether it’s your favourite teddy bear or a coffee mug that your grandma gave you when you were seven, we all have objects that cheer us up when we’re not feeling our best.
Whatever your comfort things are, make sure you bring them to university with you. They will be like a positive vibe when you are feeling low.
4. Stay positive
Staying positive makes you a delight to be around, so you’ll probably find it much easier to make new friends which in turn helps to fight homesickness. But this can be a lot easier said than done, but making a collaborative effort to carry a pragmatic attitude around with you will help you to battle homesickness in a major way. Plan things into your day that you enjoy doing and can look forward to, whether it’s fraternizing with friends or a nice hot bath and an episode of MasterChef. That said, if you are grappling, don’t feel as though you can’t tell people you’re miserable. Friends and professional organisations will always lend you a helping hand.
5. Keep in touch (but not too much!)
Whether it’s a phone call, a Whatsapp group chat or a video chat, keeping in touch with your family and friends back at home helps to close the gap and make you feel more connected with things. Nonetheless, the contrapositive is that keeping in touch too much can actually make you feel that gap more! The gimmick is to not let it get to the phase where you’re conversing with people back home much more than you are with people at your university. Preserving your link with your family and friends is cardinal in helping you miss them less, but severing emotional ties is important as well, which is a part of living a different life.
6. Be Healthy and Stay fit
When you’re feeling miserable it can be appealing to lie on the bed watching Rom-Coms crying into a bowl filled with chips, but this is likely to make you feel a lot worse. Keeping healthy and fighting off homesickness aka freshers’ flu will help to keep you feeling much more positive about life.
The most important step in overcoming homesickness is realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with you. Feeling homesick isn’t a weakness, nor is it something you should beat yourself up about. Missing home hits every student, starting from the comforts of just lying around, mom’s handmade food- yes we all miss home. But remember your purpose and follow these tips to shake off the feeling.