How to beat homesickness


I’ve experienced my fair share of homesickness in my time. Before uni, I moved to Beijing on my own to work for year (brave? me? more like stupid). It was utterly terrifying and at times I was incredibly homesick. My homesickness was due to a number of things including distance and cultural differences – you might think after that uni would be a breeze.

In all honesty I still got/get homesick sometimes at uni. Most people do, in fact I think it’s a little odd if you don’t! No matter what home is like, it’s home. It’s only natural that if you’re feeling a little down or ill you’ll miss it and if you’re anything like me sometimes you’ll miss it for no valid reason at all.

The most important thing is finding a way of coping with it. Everyone’s different and so you may not find this post useful but anyhow here’s a few things I find help me:

  • Take some home with you (or get someone to post it to you). Take some photos/posters/cushions or any other bits and bobs to make your room feel like yours. Make a cuppa in your favourite mug and snuggle up with your favourite film. It’s not a cure all but it can help take the edge off.
  • Don’t forget you’re all in the same boat! Even if your new uni friends don’t appear to be feeling it right now they probably will/have at some point. Have a chat, shed a tear, talk to someone you get on with. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Don’t forget everyone at home still loves you! Giving a family member or old friend a ring can make you feel a million times better. Let them know you’re missing them – they’ll be missing you too. It will also make you realise that nothing at home has changed, and it’s probably far more exciting where you are right now.
  • If you’re still really struggling it’s worth checking out the support systems at York. You can speak to members of your college support team or ask the Student Support Hub for advice. Don’t be embarrassed, remember they want to help and will have seen much worse.
  • A quick note on going home:  this can be a bit of slippery slope. In order to enjoy uni you need to give yourself a chance to settle in and make friends, which isn’t possible if you’re not there. I would suggest trying not to go home for at least the first month or so, if not the whole first term. Otherwise you might find yourself missing out on stuff, therefore not feeling involved, feeling sad and going home more often. A nice alternative is to get people to come visit you. It’s fun to show people around somewhere they haven’t been before especially as it can make you realise how much you have learnt about a place. It can give you a real boost!

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Hey there! I'm Emma! I'm in the third year of an MPhys Physics! I originally started off with a foundation year and loved York so much I'll now be going into my fourth year of living here. I'm a member of Derwent college, do loads with dance society and love to bake in my spare time!