Feeling homesick? These tips can help.
You’ve just started a new stage in your life in a new place. It’s normal that you experience feeling homesick. Many people do. Student intern Emilia tells us some top tips to help you feel more in control.
Homesickness can affect different people differently and to various degrees, but overall you may feel lonely, upset and isolated. It’s ok to feel nostalgia for your past, but it is also essential to adapt to your new life and start enjoying it. Here are a few ways that can help you feel better.
1. Understand the reason for homesickness.
What is it that you’re missing? Is it a deep connection with other people? Feeling comfortable in your space? Did you find yourself in a different culture? Is it something else or all of the above? Understanding your reasons for homesickness can help you decide what you need to do or change to reduce this feeling.
2. Balance familiar and unfamiliar.
Hopefully, you took with you, or you can get, things of emotional value that connect you with your home and old life or provide comforts of home. These items will make you feel connected with home even when you’re away. Of course, they don’t have to be physical objects. You probably have photos on your phone from your life at home that will bring a smile to your face, or you can watch something that reminds you of home and will comfort you a little.
3. Find new favourite places.
Explore your surrounding and make the unfamiliar feel familiar. Maybe you’ll find a new favourite café, or a spot in the library that will bring you comfort similar to the one favourite places in your home town gave you? Also, getting out of the house will make you think less about your home and unpleasant feelings as you’re busy exploring.
4. Engage in social activities.
It’s expected you’re missing your friends and old ways of spending your free time, but it’s also important to engage in new relationships and activities. If you were playing sports before, why not get engaged in one of the sports teams at the LUU? Getting active not only can help you connect with others but will also lift your mood. You can sign-up for many other activities and courses in and outside the University. You can pick up a new interest or continue an old one and meet new people simultaneously.
5. Talk to friends and family at home.
Of course, it is still vital to maintain relationships with people you love. Talking to your parents or friends will help you feel connected, appreciated and supported, easing you into your new life. However, to develop your sense of self-confidence and self-trust, you need to focus on how to manage your life here rather than focusing excessively on your family and friends at home. Try to limit your conversations with home to the level you would consider sufficient if you didn’t feel homesick.
6. Do something you enjoyed doing at home.
Traditions can foster a sense of connection to home, even if you’re far away. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Maybe you could cook something you loved eating? Maybe you even share your favourite dish with your new friends? If you had any routines that served you earlier, for example, reading before bed, see if you can implement them now.
7. Talk to someone about your feelings.
There’s no shame in feeling homesick. It may also turn out that many of your new friends or old friends who also started uni feel the same way. Acknowledging your feeling and getting support will make you feel better. Having the courage to talk about your feelings demonstrates that you’re taking care of yourself and you’re on a good path to adjust to your current situation.
Hopefully, this advice will help you feel more positive about being here in Leeds. Remember it’s normal to feel homesick; give yourself time to experience it, and don’t beat yourself for feeling that way. Focus on positive action, and you’ll find yourself in a much better place soon. You might still feel homesick sometimes, but it’s only a sign that you felt comfortable and connected with your home, and that’s a good thing.