How to beat homesickness when you start uni

Spruce up your room

How you’ll feel when you leave home for uni is totally unpredictable. 
Exciting times are ahead, with loads of new people to meet. But you’ll probably miss home too; and it might sometimes feel really tough. 

You’re not alone. Everyone gets homesick from time to time, and there’s lots you can do to be prepared. 

Spruce up your room

“Make your place as homely as possible,” says Helloworld_95. Pack your favourite bits from your room at home and spend time setting up your new room when you arrive. Add posters, wallplanners and other uni stuff that you pick up from the freshers fair and your room will feel truly yours. 

Check out the student groups and societies

“Keeping busy gives you less time to dwell on things,” says jelly1000. You can join as many societies and sports clubs as you like; in the week after Freshers there will be lots of welcome events going on. That gives you the chance to try a bit of everything and meet other people. Filling your week with new things will keep you buzzing about your new uni life. 

Have fun with your flatmates

“Doing things with my flatmates so I spent less time by myself has really helped me,” says Flauta. Little things like catching up with people for a coffee between lectures can make you feel so much more at home. In the evenings, heading to the union is one option – but not the only one. Try anything that gets you together as a group, such as cooking together or starting a new Netflix series. 

Work the postman hard

“I used to love getting post, my mum used to send me packets of strawberry shoelaces,” says Danny Dorito. Getting a nice text message or email is one thing, but getting a handwritten letter or a parcel through the post is way better. It will remind you that people are thinking of you, so make sure your family and friends have your postal address. Get into the routine of sending mail to them, and enjoy all the post you get in return. 

Get a part time job

Get a part-time job

“Check out vacancies in the student union bar and on campus. Working at uni is an awesome way to socialise and top up your loan,” says She-Ra. Keeping busy with a few hour’s work gives you something different to do and it can be a great way to have fun and meet people. Working at the SU’s party nights are a great way to get paid to socialise (and with no hangover the next day). 

Don’t book a weekend to travel home immediately

“Going home more often – I promise you – makes it worse,” says EloiseStar. Leave your visit home for a while; instead arrange for some mates to visit you – or go and see them at their uni. Having visitors gives you an excuse to go sightseeing in your new city and explore all the best bits. Showing them around campus will make you realise how much you already know and help you realise how settled you actually are.

Get your mum and dad on Skype

“Chatting on FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts makes missing home easier to deal with,” says Rainbow Bright. Sometimes the phone just won’t cut it so arrange some face to face time with your family and your mates. 

Predict when you’re going to feel pants

If you’re going to get homesick, it’s probably going to be during one of these times: 

  • When you’re really tired
  • When you’re starving hungry
  • When you’re massively hungover
  • The first time you get sick
  • The time you’re disappointed with your grade
  • The time all your housemates go away and you’re by yourself for the weekend
  • The moment you worry that you’ve never going to find a best mate


Chat to a friend

Any of these things could make you feel a bit down and a bit homesick. But get wise to these triggers now and they’ll be easier to manage. If you do have a bad day or a bad week, give yourself a break and brush it off. Fill up on good food, get some sleep and chat with someone who knows you well.

How do you handle homesickness? Have your say in the comments below. 

More on TSR: 
Everything you need to know about being a Fresher 
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