University is a unique experience for everyone and for some it’s the first time properly being away from home. Many people think being away from home is the best thing ever but some people, like myself, miss home a great deal. I have found homesickness a challenge because sometimes it can creep up quite unexpectedly or come all at once in a wave that overcomes you. Neither are pleasant, but honestly, it does get easier to cope with. Here I have my 4 top tips for being away from home while at university:
Surprisingly, just seeing the people I miss most in photos makes me feel better. Having photos of loved ones makes me feel at ease and sometimes puts a big uncontrollable smile on my face, like when someone sends you a really thoughtful text message. Others will have a couple of neat photo frames around… not me! I have photos all over; on notice boards, hanging from fairy lights and on a piece of cardboard which I made a collage on. Seeing my friends, family and boyfriend on my walls just makes me feel so happy and reminds me how loved I am.
I have brought a few keepsakes with me from home to uni, but the most important is my teddy bear (or 5). They are my go to and frankly my best friend when I’m feeling down, I just cuddle them and somehow that helps. Blankets can have the same effect – or cushions. Find what works for you. Your happy place might just be your bed with a nice cup of tea.
You can sometimes go home
I know not everyone can afford to go home every weekend, and Lincoln train station isn’t the best for direct trains. But a few scheduled trips home to look forward to really do make things a whole lot easier. I travel home regularly. However, it has been 3 weeks since my last trip home and having a train booked for next week keeps me feeling confident. So, booking a train in advance is a milestone for me and gives me something to look forward to. So when you’re feeling stuck it helps to remember going home to recharge is an option, it just might take a little planning. You might find this link handy: 5 top tips for cheap rail travel.
Be a busy bee
Busy days are the best for me because my mind is focussed on doing things and I can’t dwell on missing home. I found that the very best thing is to join a society – any is good but if you need cheering up, cheerleading is the obvious choice.
Other time-consuming activities to stay a busy bee include: getting to know the city, I know it’s steep but walking up the hill and visiting the cathedral is well worth it. Meeting friends for a cup of tea, food or even a quiz is a great way of getting out, so is going to the gym, shopping (if you have money) or even volunteering (lots of opportunities on the SU website).
Basically, fill your days with planned activities (even a library revision session or uni work) and then you have something to do things to look forwards to, the simplest tips are always the best.
Those are my four top tips and I hope they give you some ideas on being happy being away from home; they definitely helped me!
Talk soon x
— Student Wellbeing (@UniofLincolnSWC) November 8, 2016