8 ways to prevent homesickness at university

Feeling a bit homesick when you arrive at university is totally normal. For many students, this might be the first time you’ve been out in the world on your own, fending for yourself, doing your own laundry. To help you settle in, use these top tips from students and you’ll be feeling at home in no time.

1. Don’t beat yourself up about it

At some point, everyone will feel a little homesick. There is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. Leaving home is a big step and you are going to have all sorts of thoughts creeping up on you, some exciting and some scary. You don’t need to add to those by being unfairly harsh on yourself about how you’re feeling.

2. Make a new home

Start by making your new living space your space. You’re going to be spending a lot of time either chilling or studying in your room, so you need to get it just the way you like it. Buy some decorations or bring some objects from home. In the first few weeks of term there will be poster sales and plant sales on campus. Before you know it, you’ll have turned your plain room into a cosy nest that you can relax in.

3. Get offline and explore

While it may be tempting to remain safely locked up in your room, you have a brand new environment that’s waiting to be explored. Go out and take pictures. Visit the local landmarks and bring back a trophy or souvenir from your travels. Then you’ll have something interesting to share with friends and family when you do go back on Facebook.

4. Get organised

The first few days and weeks are probably going to be the most hectic, and it’s here that you may feel a bit lost. By sorting your weeks out with a simple timetable, you’ll feel like you’re more in control of what’s going on.

5. Join in

A university campus never sleeps, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a time when there isn’t either a fair or a social event on. If you have a hobby then join a club or society, where you’ll find like-minded people. Give yourself a goal of trying something new each week.

6. Look after yourself

Your new-found freedom and independence will be an exhilarating experience, but just remember that you still need to look after your body. Make sure that you are eating (the vending machine doesn’t count) and try to get plenty of sleep. Being run down can lead to feeling overburdened, so take some time to make sure that your body is being looked after too.

7. Talk to people

This can be the hardest one, but you need to try and remember that your new housemates and course mates are in the exact same position as you are. Sometimes, people are just waiting for someone to approach them, so be brave and be the person to make that first step. Your new best friend may be one conversation away.

8. Attend an Open Day or Offer Holder Day

Make your new environment feel more familiar when you start university by going to an Open Day during the application process, or an invite-only Offer Holder Day, once you’ve received an offer. This way, you will already have had a campus tour, seen where things are, got a feel for the area and your course, and even made a few friends.