The Student Room Group

Worried about University distance from home.

I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?
Hello Hann,

Firstly, congratulations! I hope you enjoy your time at the University regardless of your choice. Now, I totally get where you're coming from about being attached to home. Moving away is a big step, especially when you're used to being close to your family. But hey, you're not alone in feeling this way.

Let me share a bit of my own experience with you. I came from India to study here in the UK. And yeah, I get the whole homesick thing. There were days when I only wanted to teleport back home for a bit of that familiar comfort.

But you know what? Despite all the challenges, I found so much value in living on my own and chasing my dreams. Sure, being in an unfamiliar place was tough, especially when I was sick or feeling down, but pushing through those moments helped me grow in ways I never imagined.

I call them regularly and keep in touch as much as possible. But I also made new friends here and a lot of valuable connections that I will cherish forever. Being far from home actually made me feel even closer to my family. I found myself reaching out to them more often, cherishing those connections even more. Plus, when I do get to visit home (even if it's just once a year and totally unpredictable), it's like hitting the jackpot. The feeling of being back in that familiar space with my loved ones—it's indescribable.

So, my advice to you? Don't let the fear of being away from home hold you back. Trust me, the experiences you'll have, the people you'll meet, and the things you'll learn will be worth it in the end.
You've got this! Chase after those dreams fearlessly. And hey, if you ever need a reminder that you're doing the right thing, just remember that you can always go back home if things ever feel too overwhelming. I hope this helps. Wishing you all the best on this exciting journey ahead!

Cheers,
Shri (MSc International Business Management).
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hi, I'm a current 1st year bio student. I had similar concerns about penryn campus being sort of out of the way. However, once I moved here I realised its not that bad at all! ( plus I like it so much don't really want to go home anyway, and I was very attached to my home life). Most people here are from around the London area (5/6 hours drive roughly, there's a direct train too to Paddington which is super easy) but I know people who come from Wales, Manchester (much further basically). Don't let the distance deter you (it almost did for me), because its really worth it. I was super worried about it but it really doesn't feel like a big deal now. I go home sometimes for the weekend and it doesn't feel that far. It takes a bit of adjusting and everyone finds it hard its normal but once you settle in (took me a few months), it just becomes your second home. Marine bio here is great they do loads of practical and they're super specialised. The lecturers for bio are so funny and really dedicated. The campus is smaller so you get smaller teaching groups which is nice (theres about 50 marine bio students I think?) I also applied to Southampton but chose Exeter over it (if that means anything). Hope this helps (:
@HannT

Remember that you can go home! It makes sense to try and get used to living in new surroundings and with new people, but you don't have to wait until the end of term to go home. You can plan two or three weekends to go home which might help you manage homesickness.

Bring home to you. You can invite someone to come and visit you. This might you help feel more relaxed or confident and provide that additional support as you navigate student life.

Call home regularly. This will help you stay up-to-date with what's happening and also give you the chance to share about anything that's worrying you or things you are really excited about : )! A fixed time each week can help you stay connected to home and can also help you with building a routine.

Focus on the new. By thinking about your course, being in a new place and the great things about your university, the excitement will hopefully begin to outweigh wanting to stay at home and continuing as before. The opportunity to pursue your chosen career will hopefully mean that staying at home is less appealing.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hey @HannT,

First off, I completely get where you're coming from. I'm from Belfast, and as someone who is really close with their friends and family, moving away to London for university was difficult to wrap my head around. It can feel strange to have your life as you know it situated in one place, and then decide you're going to move somewhere else - but I've absolutely loved my university experience, and moving away has honestly made me appreciate going home that bit more. Being able to have a 'uni life' and a 'home life' has opened up a lot of new opportunities for me as a person, and I feel a lot more mature and independent because of it.

What really helped me when I first started at uni was having a concrete plan of when I was going home to visit - booking flights/train tickets in advance meant that even when I felt homesick, I knew I'd be returning some point in the near future and therefore didn't feel like I was missing out on so much. I think when you first move away to university, it feels incredibly permanent - but after a while, you begin to realise that home is never as far as away as you might think. Make sure to arrange time to phone/video chat with any friends or family back home, as that can also help ease any feelings of homesickness you might have from time to time. :smile:

Eve (Kingston Rep).
Bizarre that you would pick penryn over a course based at NOCS
Reply 6
Original post by Heriot-Watt Uni
Hello Hann,
Firstly, congratulations! I hope you enjoy your time at the University regardless of your choice. Now, I totally get where you're coming from about being attached to home. Moving away is a big step, especially when you're used to being close to your family. But hey, you're not alone in feeling this way.
Let me share a bit of my own experience with you. I came from India to study here in the UK. And yeah, I get the whole homesick thing. There were days when I only wanted to teleport back home for a bit of that familiar comfort.
But you know what? Despite all the challenges, I found so much value in living on my own and chasing my dreams. Sure, being in an unfamiliar place was tough, especially when I was sick or feeling down, but pushing through those moments helped me grow in ways I never imagined.
I call them regularly and keep in touch as much as possible. But I also made new friends here and a lot of valuable connections that I will cherish forever. Being far from home actually made me feel even closer to my family. I found myself reaching out to them more often, cherishing those connections even more. Plus, when I do get to visit home (even if it's just once a year and totally unpredictable), it's like hitting the jackpot. The feeling of being back in that familiar space with my loved ones—it's indescribable.
So, my advice to you? Don't let the fear of being away from home hold you back. Trust me, the experiences you'll have, the people you'll meet, and the things you'll learn will be worth it in the end.
You've got this! Chase after those dreams fearlessly. And hey, if you ever need a reminder that you're doing the right thing, just remember that you can always go back home if things ever feel too overwhelming. I hope this helps. Wishing you all the best on this exciting journey ahead!
Cheers,
Shri (MSc International Business Management).

Thank you! I appreciate this response :smile:
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Do what makes you feel happy. I'm sure that once you settle in everything will feel better when you've had some time there.
Reply 8
Original post by Anonymous #2
Bizarre that you would pick penryn over a course based at NOCS

Don’t get me wrong, NOCS was amazing! But I much rather prefer the actual course content and location of Penryn :smile: I’m not really a fan of city/ industrial areas
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hey @HannT
Congratulations on your university offers!
Sorry to hear that you are conflicted about which uni and the idea of moving further from home.
I moved away from home for uni and whilst it had some challenge I never regretted it. Going to uni your schedule changes and you are growing up. This can sometimes make it hard to be at home with lots of changes going on and you needing space to dedicate to studies. For me, being away from home made the time spent either going home or family coming to me much more memorable and qualitive.
One thing that is good to remember is that moving doesn't close the door on home. You can use video call, you can go home if you need to.
When your at uni my advice is to be there in the moment and embrace it. I know a few flatmates in first year that went home most weekends and in the end they found it harder at uni because they then didn't want to come back for their early monday lecture and/or they missed out on joining clubs and other social aspect and it made it harder when at exams/ assignments they needed to study and not be moving back and forth.
Whatever you decide, hope you have a great time at uni!
Catherine - University of Strathclyde Ambassador
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hi there,

Firstly, congratulations on your offers! In terms of being away from home, this is inevitably challenging but I'd suggest checking alternative routes to make sure that you can visit whenever you can i.e. check National Express, mega bus etc or get a railcard. Also, I'd suggest arranging points throughout the semester when you will see your family in advance - so you can have something to look forward to if you feel home sick.

I'm sorry that I can't say more but I think that a big part of it is just embracing the journey

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hi there,

Firstly congratulations on your university offers!

I would say to try not to worry about moving away from home if you really want to go to Exeter. You will likely be homesick at first but this will subside when you start to make friends and enjoy yourself so don't let this be the reason that you miss out on going to the university that you really want to go to.

If you do decide to go to Exeter, here are some of my tips to help deal with homesickness:

1- Call your family and friends often. This can help you with missing them and it's good to keep in contact with everyone regularly so you don't feel like you are missing out on anything!

2- Plan weekends to go home. It's okay to go home and if you know when you will next be going home, it can help with the homesickness as you know how far way it is and if it's coming up soon.

3- Invite your friends to visit you at uni! Get them to come and stay over and this will be the best of both worlds as you get to see your friends and invite them to meet all of your new friends and you can also show them your new University city.

4- Bring things that remind you of home- photos etc to make your room feel more homely and more like your room at home as this can help you feel less homesick.

5- Say yes to things at uni! Throw yourself into doing things at uni, and you won't miss home as much. Ask people to go out and do things with you like going out, or going shopping, going for food etc!

6- Attend lectures and classes. This is a great way of making friends and the last thing you want to do is be sat in your flat all day long so it's important to get out and do things!

7- Join a society! This is a great way of making friends and again is a good way of getting out of the house and doing something that you enjoy doing!

8- Talk to people about how you are feeling. If you feel homesick, chat to your friends about it as chances are they may have felt or are feeling the same way so it may help to chat to people about this!

I hope some of this helps and good luck with your decision making! :smile:

Lucy- SHU student ambassador.
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hi there

Congratulations on your offer! 🙂 I really understand how you are feeling right now. As someone who is also really close with my family, I understand that moving away may seem quite terrifying. I was in the same position as you three years ago, and hopefully I can give you some insights into what it is like:

I decided to move to Kent although it was really far away from home, I felt like it would be good practice for me at the time to try living independently and gain useful skills. It definitely worked for me, I gained a lot of new skills and learn a lot of new things by moving to Kent, and I do not regret it at all. 🙂 Whilst I did miss home at the start, I found that making frequent phone calls home and travelling back home during term breaks and reading weeks really helped. If you ever feel really homesick, you could always travel home during the term time, as there is not compulsory requirement to stay on campus the whole time. :smile:

A good way to overcome this anxiety may be to meet some new people. Getting to chat to people through University facebook groups and once you are on campus is a really good way to ease nerves. 🙂 I am sure you will meet a lot of new friends, so do not worry too much!

I hope this helps.
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

These days you can do Zoom calls etc ... 30 years ago people had to write letters!
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

I live in Wrexham but go to uni in Lincoln. I was really worried about this before I moved, especially because I’d didn’t know anyone in Lincoln.
one thing I found that really helped me was FaceTiming my family back home regularly. I must’ve called my mum multiple times a day when I was in my first year. It gets easier, you get used to being away from them and it makes being home feel more special
Original post by HannT
I'm going to University this year to study marine biology at either Southampton or Exeter (Penryn). I think both courses are great, but I love Penryn campus and prefer the course slightly more than Southampton. But I am terrified about being away from home,(I live in West Sussex) as I won't be able to visit as regularly if I go to Exeter. I was just asking how moving away from home felt for anyone else who is/ was very attached to their home? Any ways to deal with this whilst at uni?

Hi @HannT, I'm currently doing my master's at Penryn but also did my undergrad there in marine biology too! Like you, I was/ am very attached to home and my family and found it a very daunting prospect, especially in my first term, to be away from them. I won't lie, I did miss home a lot in the beginning, its a very new and big thing moving away from home, but in time it got a lot easier and I love where I am now.

The main thing that helped me was scheduling regular video calls with my parents and family/ friends. Some nights we'd be on call for over 2 hours just catching up and chatting like we normally would and it definitely helped! But during this time I also made friends on my course and slowly starting to go out and do things with them more. And while I do still call my family regularly, once I made good friends (which you will too!) it made things so much more enjoyable and as I said above, I really love it here in Penryn and my courses have been amazing

I hope this helps a little but if you do have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to ask! - Alicia, University of Exeter Student Ambassador

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