Wellbeing: Coping with Homesickness

17:30 Ellena Gartside 0 Comments

When you talk to any university student in the run-up to university, you'll be bombarded with stories about how you'll go out clubbing most night, make a million friends and live off of pot noodles and baked beans. While for many students, parts of this description may be very familiar, what they never tell us Freshers about is homesickness. 

Pretty much everyone I've spoken to have gotten homesick at some point this semester- after all, we're just hitting the two-month mark of being here-, and the answers have an interesting pattern. Usually, my friends and I get the most homesick when we have had little sleep, a cold (which may also be coined as the 'never-ending fresher's flu') or a heavy workload of assignments. In these moments, we start to feel pretty emotional, eliciting the usual reaction of just wanting to go home, or see a family member. 

When that isn't immediately possible, it can be deflating and it's difficult to find the motivation to keep going until you go home. From a seasoned homesickness pro, I've come up with a list of how to cope when you're missing home. 

1) Call a family member. Sometimes, just being able to call your mum is all you need to feel better and brighter. Hearing the sound of a comforting voice may make you emotional, but you'll feel better for updating whoever's on the other line about your university antics. Even better- set up a FaceTime or Skype call with someone you're missing. 

2) Set goals. Speak to your family, and see if it's possible to do a weekend visit mid-semester. If not, think about the next time you'll be able to go home- a family birthday, or Christmas? Keep these dates in mind as 'goals' for yourself, something that you can look forward to. Cross of the days, or maybe take the same approach as I do- 'Only two more assignments to get through until I can go home!'. 

3) Get social. There's no point in wallowing in homesickness- organise a night out with friends in Oxford or even stay in and just watch a movie together. Hanging around with some of your favourite 
people might help to get your mind off of things. 

4) Get involved. If friends aren't around at the time you're feeling quite homesick, go online to the Brookes student union website (http://www.brookesunion.org.uk/). Here, you can find information about events around the three campuses (including puppy cuddling!) and look at what societies and sports teams Brookes has to offer. If any interest you, it might be worth popping along to one. Getting out and being social might make you feel a lot happier. 

5) Let it pass. It's likely that you'll probably only be very homesick for a few days at the most. Keep pushing on, even if lectures feel very hard and you feel like you're not enjoying your time at uni- within a few days, you'll feel new again and ready to keep going for a while until you next see some family or get to go home. 

Ellena x