As a fresher who has just finished their first term at university, I thought I would try to share some words of wisdom when it comes to homesickness and adjusting to living independently for the first time! For many of us, university is the first time living away from home, so I wanted to share my top tips in case you’re feeling worried!
Firstly, rest assured you will not be the only one feeling anxious or dealing with homesickness. It’s almost a rite of passage as a uni student! In the first couple weeks, it may feel like you’ll never feel at home in this new city, but that won’t last forever! It’ll be a tricky time filled with so many changes. From living in a new city, to meeting lots of new people. Also, the more mundane things like having to cook for yourself and do your own washing! But whilst it may seem scary, you are more than capable, it may just take some time!
Keep busy – but it’s also okay to say no!
One of the things that really helped me in my first couple of weeks at university was keeping busy. Knowing I had plans for the following day made the long days ahead feel a lot less daunting. One thing to remember is that everyone will be in the same boat at uni. Everyone here wants to settle in and make friends, so just try to embrace all the ‘new’!
York puts on so many different events during Freshers Week, so say yes to as many things as possible. You never know who you’ll meet or what will follow! However, that said, the first couple weeks at university can be incredibly overwhelming and each of us will respond differently. So, challenge yourself to try new things and talk to new people. But don’t challenge yourself more than you feel comfortable. Spending time out and about with new friends can be really beneficial, but so can spending some time in your bedroom, decorating and making it feel more like home.
Photos of family and friends – yay or nay…
Personally, before coming to university, everyone told me I should put photos of family and friends up on my wall. They said doing this when you first arrive will help to make your room feel more like home. It’ll remind you that you’re not alone, even if those you love aren’t physically close anymore. However, for me I found in the first few days, I couldn’t bear to put up photos of my family and friends because I was already missing them so much. The constant reminder that they weren’t here was too much for me! However, after the first week, I decided to put them up and now I feel a lot more settled. I love looking at all my favourite people on my wall! (I’ve even added photos of me and friends I’ve made since being here!) So, I’d suggest definitely bringing photos of family and friends to put up on your wall, but do so at your own pace!
Don’t go home too soon!
Another thing I would suggest for dealing with homesickness is not to go home too soon! Whilst going home and seeing those you love is all you might want to do; this can make life a lot harder in the long run! In my opinion, it’s important to stay at uni for those first few weeks. Give yourself a proper chance to settle in and join in on activities at the weekend. I also would suggest instead of going home to visit family, get them to come to visit you! Then there are no lonely train journeys home and as a bonus, your parents can enjoy looking round the beautiful city of York!
Home away from home…
For me, not only was I missing my family, but I desperately miss seeing my dog every day! So, I signed up for Dog Society, where you can go once a week to go and stroke some lovely dogs! You’ll be surprised at how just an hour of playing tug of war with dogs and chatting to others about your dog can really put a smile on your face!
I hope, if you’re feeling worried about moving to uni and homesickness, these tips may help and most of all reassured you that everything will be fine in the end! Good luck! -Cara