Moving away from the place you call home is a difficult transition for many of us and it’s a transition that can often leave us feeling isolated and uncomfortable in our day-to-day lives.
I recall in my first year, I suffered with homesickness quite a lot. This feeling persisted through my second and third years also, but having been in Lincoln for over three years now. I’m happy to say the feeling is, for the most part, becoming a distant memory. I still miss home, but that feeling of ‘homesickness’ has gone away.
Within the first month of arriving at university I was overwhelmed with some of the most conflicting feelings of both extreme happiness, extreme sadness and also a niggling thought that the sadness I was feeling was unjustified or selfish.
With all these new people and new opportunities surrounding me, and with everyone else appearing okay and happy. I asked myself why wasn’t I feeling the same and why should I want to return home to my quiet life in my family home after working so hard to get here?
These feelings may sound familiar to you, but how can you cope with it? Below, I’ve listed some of the ways which I’ve found particularly useful in the hopes that it helps you.
A stagnant mind is one that likes to dwell on negative feelings.
So get busy! This doesn’t have to mean join a society or go out socialising every day, whilst they’re great options and work very well for a lot of people, they can be daunting within themselves for others. But simply try to make sure you’re getting up and about each day, whether that just means doing a food shop, spending a day taking care of your chores or just taking a walk into town. All these little things can help your brain turn off for a few hours.
I understand that staying busy is something that’s hard to do at night time which is often when feelings of homesickness can hit the hardest. I found, particularly in my first year, that a 20-minute phone call home usually had me feeling a lot better. Whether it be to a friend or a family member. It really helps you realise that they’re still there no matter how far away you are.
Organise a schedule for returning home
Upon arriving to university in September, it may seem like a great idea to head home as soon as the opportunity allows but I must say, I feel like holding out for those first few months can really benefit you in the long run. But that’s a scary thought when all you want to do is go home.
I found a good middle ground was to book my journey home in advance. That way I had a date to look forward to and it helped put my feelings into perspective.
Talk to someone
Similar to the phone calls, a lot of emotion can build up if we don’t vocalise what we’re feeling. If you talk to your friends/flatmates at university about your thoughts and feelings, they may be able to both sympathise and also give perhaps a different perspective.
Of course, if you don’t feel confident talking to the people you know. The university have staff with years of experience dedicated to trying to help you through not just your studies, but your life in Lincoln, this includes listening and giving advice to those of us who are being troubled with feelings of homesickness.
You can contact the university’s wellbeing centre by email or phone, you can also find them on campus next, they are next to The Swan & Stephen Langton Building. The details to contact them are as follows:
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Phone: 01522 886400