It’s understandable for first-years to get homesick as it is probably their first time staying away from home and you’re in a usual place with people you don’t know, but I just want to let you know it is okay to feel sad and homesick when you are in other years too.
One of my first posts on Student Life was top tips for homesickness and following my own advise really helped but now I’m in third year my walls are getting a bit full of photos and I still, quite often, get the hollow feeling in my stomach wishing I was all cosy back in my family home.
I have finally realised I’m just a homely person and thrive off being with my family and close friends so university for me is a real challenge in that sense. It seems to go in waves and these normally correlate with how busy my schedule is.
When I am really busy I don’t have time to miss home as much but I need to make sure I am filling my time with worthwhile things to keep my mental health on top form. You might think that all of your time should be full of doing uni work but having breaks to do sports/societies/things you enjoy/seeing friends is extremely important and will help you to be so much more productive.
Generally, I like to have something to do most evenings for at least an hour as a release and something completely different to focus my mind on and forget about all the stresses of uni life. I run the FAD (fashion and design) society once a week and go cheerleading another day but on the other days, I need something good to do as well.
The sports centre has a really good programme of fitness classes, with many different sessions on every day. I like going every so often when I have no plans and need a break because you can just spontaneously turn up and pay when you get there.
Another thing that really helps me is going to volunteering, I volunteer at St. Barnabas Hospice and enjoy it so much; I book in shifts on the days when I don’t have uni as something to do on those days so I don’t spend the whole day lazing around doing nothing. Also, I like to book in trips home every two or three weeks to give me something to look forward to and think about when I’m missing home.
One thing I 100% recommend is visiting the Student Wellbeing Centre (next to the health centre, near the Swan) if you’re feeling like everything is getting a bit much. They do drop-in sessions Monday to Friday 12-2pm and it’s really helpful talking to someone and just getting your emotions out there to someone that is completely separate from your daily life.
If you don’t want to talk to someone straight away you can just ask for some leaflets to read through and they have a really good one with lots of websites on to look through as well such as www.headspace.com and www.lpft.nhs.uk/steps2change .
If you think everything is getting a bit much there is lots of help out there to help you. Looking through this blog you will find so much useful advice but the most important thing is to not keep it all bottled up, tell someone about it and you will start to feel so much better.