Tips for beating homesickness...
The first thing to remember, despite the pressure that is relentlessly imposed by Freshers’ Week, is that feeling homesick is entirely, completely normal. You’ve left home and everything that is familiar, you don’t have the strong support network of friends that you’ve grown so used to, and to top it off you’re expected to be meeting so many people!
and loving Freshers’ Week!
and having the best time ever
! And, presumably, forgetting home all together.
In reality, you’re probably feeling a bit sick. It’s a combination of stomach churning excitement, intense pressure to live up to all of the above – and the after effects of the six double vodka and Red Bulls you necked on the inaugural night in the SU bar.
Here are a few tips on beating those homesick feelings during your first weeks away...
Stay in contact! Don’t expect to be speaking to your home friends every night on the phone during Freshers’ Week, but be aware that they are there for you. They might be further away now, but it’s likely that they’re feeling the same jitters. Don’t exclude yourself from college activities because you’re pining for home, but don’t feel that you need to entirely cut loose either. Work on keeping the balance right.
It stands to reason that you’ll dwell on your lonely feelings if you have too much time on your hands – so make sure you don’t. Enter the most overused but truthful piece of freshers’ week advice that you will ever be given: make sure you’re busy. Everyone is in the same boat; no one is going to think strangely of you if you introduce yourself out of the blue or turn up to a society meeting on your own.
Don’t overdo it with the booze and takeaways – at least, not too much. Yes it’s freshers’ week; of course you’re supposed to indulge. Once lectures start though, and you realise that you’re actually going to have to start waking up before 3pm and reading those books that are gathering dust on your shelves, it’s probably a good idea to get into even the most basic of routines. Don’t deny yourself nights out or a social life (this would be completely counter-productive), but if you’re still feeling homesick be aware that the sooner you lay off the greasy midnight kebabs and Basics Vodka the sooner you’ll feel better – emotionally as well as physically. If you feel healthy and mentally awake, chances are the feelings are less likely to press down on you.
Run, cycle, swim it out – effort obviously, but there’s no denying that it’ll burn away the freshers’ fog once the week is over. You’ll sleep better, and your mind will be cleared of negative thoughts. The power of endorphins can’t be underestimated. Honestly. If you join a class (most universities will have a sports centre on campus or will run one close by) you’re also likely to meet new people more easily.
Surround yourself with things that make you feel at home – photographs, for example. Bedrooms in halls of residence are uniformly clinical, so make your new room a little home-from-home. It’ll put you at ease and you’ll settle into your new surroundings much more quickly.