One of the biggest worries for students starting university is homesickness. Spending weeks and possibly months away from your family is a daunting prospect for any Fresher, and returning students too! Here are five ways to cure homesickness at university:

Make dates to see your family:
When you’re feeling a bit homesick it’s good to have a point in time to count down to. If you have a set date to go home/be visited at university, when/if you do feel down you can look forward to that event and it won’t feel like you’re that far away. In my first year I found it therapeutic to make a mental list of what I wanted to show my family when they came to Nottingham, it makes those ‘I wish you were here’ moments sting a lot less!

Arrange phone calls:
University can feel like it’s separate from the real world. I found it very hard to find a time during the week where me and my parents were both free to talk, and that can make you feel isolated. A great way to combat this is to go through your timetable with your family and arrange a time to call each other. This way you know you’ll definitely speak to them and that can be another thing you can look forward to throughout the week.

Stay busy:
Being sociable is key when you’re missing home. There are always off periods on weekends or some weekdays where you won’t have much going on. These are the moments when homesickness is likely to creep up on you. It’s really important to throw yourself into university life and stay busy. Joining a society or taking up a new hobby is a great distraction and will make everything more fun too and what’s more societies are always running events!

Put photos up:
Putting photos up is a lovely way to have a piece of home with you. I felt that having photos of my family and friends from home on my walls helped me a lot when I was missing them. It can be a really great way to look back at your memories with them, and look forward to making more in the future!

Send letters:
This one really depends on your personality. Last year I loved sending letters to friends and family members I hadn’t seen in a while. Sometimes you just don’t have time to speak to all your loved ones, and sending them a little something in the post to let them know you’re thinking of them will brighten both of your days!

Remember, everyone feels homesick in some form at some point at university. But don’t forget that you are never alone. Your years at university will be some of the best of your life; throw yourself in at the deep end and make it count!

Holly Jenson

If you are struggling with homesickness at UoN be sure to check out their website for transition tips and contacts.

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Featured image courtesy of ‘Thomas Leuthard’ via Flickr. Image licence found here.

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