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Combating Homesickness As a Student
One of the things nobody tells you about when you’re a student is homesickness.
Everyone will be giving you tips on how to survive your first week as a freshman, how to navigate the tricky world of lectures and finding your way around, and other things that are imperative to student survival.
Only in rare cases will they warn you about the potential homesickness you might feel.
Don’t worry, though – homesickness while you’re at university is completely normal.
If you’ve lived in one location your entire life and are then uprooted and placed in another one, it’s totally fine to feel a little down from time to time.
We’ve assembled some tips to help you combat homesickness as a student and knuckle down to start enjoying student life.
Bring pictures of your family
When you’re away from home, one of the most effective ways to combat homesickness is to decorate your room with pictures and reminders of your family.
It might sound a little lame – and you might occasionally have to deal with a stifled snigger from one of your roommates – but it’s a great way to stave off the nostalgia and sadness that can come with homesickness.
For best results, we recommend a custom photo shoot, because it’ll create new memories for you even while you’re away and show you that your family is doing great.
There are some great websites that offer this, so click to find out more if you’d like to know how to set up a custom shoot for your family.
Get out and about
Being alone and indoors for protracted periods of time can really get bad thoughts swirling around your head.
Being outdoors and getting some much-needed exercise can significantly improve your mental health.
While you’re moving, you’re engaging your body’s adrenaline systems, potentially distracting you from negative emotions and granting you myriad health benefits in the process.
Exercising also has the knock-on effect of exploring the environment around you, which can help to solidify your new digs as your temporary home.
Call home often
In the modern age, we really don’t need to worry about regular communication with those we love.
Social media, messaging apps, and the high-speed Internet have all been instrumental in providing homesick people with ways to easily and quickly talk to those they love.
A lot of homesickness is being away from people and places you know, and while talking to your family regularly won’t assuage the second problem, it will certainly work wonders on the first.
Throw yourself into your studies
We know it’s easy to forget this sometimes, but you’re at university to study and learn, so one of the most effective ways you can combat homesickness is to do just that.
Be aware that your body and mind are genuinely being affected by homesickness; it’s not just a phase you’re going through and it’s definitely a legitimate way to feel.
As a result, you might not be able to easily concentrate on your work, but don’t worry – it will come eventually. Working hard and focusing on studying can be a great way to combat homesickness.
Do what you love
Be sure that you’re making time for your hobbies and pastimes while you’re away from home.
If there was something you loved to do at home – watching movies, playing video games, writing, et cetera – then you should definitely be making space to continue those activities.
Having that constant element between the two locations can provide a sense of consistency and stability, both of which are crucial for fighting homesickness. Just don’t watch Toy Story 3. Trust us.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re making the right friends, then they won’t be afraid to offer advice and comfort in your hour of need.
Talk to those around you and explain that you’re feeling homesick, and you’ll realise that many of them are actually feeling the same way.
The UK National Union of Students reckons that between 50% and 70% of students experience homesickness in some form, so you’ll probably find kindred spirits.
If you can’t speak to your friends, your university definitely has some sort of counselling service you can look into, so don’t feel like you can’t ask for official help.
This is probably the hardest thing to do and feel while you’re homesick, but you’d be amazed how much internal reinforcement can work.
If you carry a positive attitude with you everywhere you go, you’ll start to feel better not only about your homesickness situation but also about life in general.
Your workload will feel lighter, your problems will feel less pressing, and you’ll feel more capable of taking on anything life throws at you.
It’s not easy to do this, but there are ways to build up a positive mentality in yourself.
Schedule visits home
Last but not least, make sure you’re making time for visits home if you can.
For many, this won’t be possible, since they’ve either moved country or don’t live within reasonable traveling distance to their home.
If you do, though, make sure holidays and other breaks are times that you can go back to your home and see everyone you love.
These regular visits will really help you to break the homesickness blues.