Anonymous #1
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Looking for some advice for a friend. I know everyone is told to expect to be homesick but is it normal to hate your first night away. The friend doesn’t drink and is introverted so most freshers events are a challenge. Is it ok to ring home/face time during dead time or will this make it worse?

Any tips I can pass on would be appreciated.
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UniofReading
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Looking for some advice for a friend. I know everyone is told to expect to be homesick but is it normal to hate your first night away. The friend doesn’t drink and is introverted so most freshers events are a challenge. Is it ok to ring home/face time during dead time or will this make it worse?

Any tips I can pass on would be appreciated.
Hey!

So sorry to hear your friend is feeling like this, however it is more normal than most people realise to feel overwhelmed or 'hate' your first night at uni. I was in first year last year and remember feeling terrified that first night; everyone was drinking and seemed confident, and I was overwhelmed and not interested in any of the things they were getting up to, as well as being very shy. I called my parents the morning after telling them how terrified I was just to go in the kitchen as I could hear my flatmates in there and this made me so anxious after the night before. It's a lot to take in in one night, so a lot of people get homesick that first night, but please tell them: it does get better. I know everyone says that, but it's very true once you give it chance.

On the first night, everyone is trying to make an impression and likely being more extroverted than they actually are. Things will quieten down as time goes on and actually, most people don't care if you drink or don't drink, like to go out or don't. There will be a lot of events and societies that aren't about being confident and overly sociable too, so tell them to explore other options to make friends. There will be a lot of people like them also feeling the exact same right now.
I reached out to people from the Christian Union within my first week and met up one to one (in line with the government restrictions back then) and this really helped me make friends who were more like me. I also tried to be open and honest about how I was feeling and found once I did that, more people were honest with me about how they were feeling too and found a lot of people were actually feeling the same. Before long, things settle down and it turns out I actually got on really well with my flatmates too in the end, even though we were very different - it just takes time to get to know people. But it is hard at first, and that is totally okay. Tell them to reach out and not be afraid to ask for support if they need it.

It takes time, but things can get better if you give them enough time. If I'd gone with my feelings on my first night, I would have left straight away without even starting my course, but now I have great friends and really enjoy uni life!
If they need it, there will be student support services they can access and plenty of societies full of people interested in the same things - tell them to be brave and make that move to try one out soon if they can and it will make a huge difference.

Wishing them good luck as uni goes on and I hope they start to feel more at home soon.

Skye
2nd Year Speech and Language Therapy Student & Student Ambassador
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Anonymous #2
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Report 1 month ago
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Looking for some advice for a friend. I know everyone is told to expect to be homesick but is it normal to hate your first night away. The friend doesn’t drink and is introverted so most freshers events are a challenge. Is it ok to ring home/face time during dead time or will this make it worse?

Any tips I can pass on would be appreciated.
It is fine to ring home or face time home sickness is very normal I don't think I stoped crying for the first 24 hours I was there (when I wasn't crying I was trying not to cry in my first uni). I'd give it at least 5 or 6 weeks he may be happier once his course starts he should go to the freshers fair where he might find something he is in to and if it doesn't get better there is no shame in leaving university isn for everybody all the time heck I left my first uni at Christmas I later went some where a little closer to home but still stayed in halls and that helped a lot.
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Lydia Taylor (YSJU Student Ambassador)
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Looking for some advice for a friend. I know everyone is told to expect to be homesick but is it normal to hate your first night away. The friend doesn’t drink and is introverted so most freshers events are a challenge. Is it ok to ring home/face time during dead time or will this make it worse?

Any tips I can pass on would be appreciated.
Hello,

I am sorry to hear your friend is feeling this way! However, it is more common than people let on, especially when it is normally the first time everyone has moved out and to an unknown city.

It is definitely okay to call and FaceTime home. Putting a familiar face or voice in your room can make it seem so much safer and welcoming. I called my mum over the slightest inconvenience and would even do group facetimes when possible with my home friends!
Your friend should try not to be tied to the phone as it can can be a bit of a barrier between them and their flat mates. But everyone calls home sometimes.

Your friend could suggest a film night or a takeaway with flat mates which are really comforting activities that will allow them to bond with their flat. They can be done before they go out or even in the day whilst they are all hungover. If they are introverted, it also creates a buffer with conversation as you can eat, discuss how the food is or just be quiet to watch the film. I remember my flat had the worst chinese takeaway ever and it really bonded us haha.

Your friend should get some home comforts in their room if they haven't already. Free prints offers 40/50 free photos a month and you only pay postage. This is a cheap way to surround yourself with pictures and faces from home. They could get some fairy lights, a candle or spray that someone uses at home and a nice blanket. All of this will really help.

Good luck to your friend!
Lydia
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