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 - but we've got some tips for dealing with it

If you're off to uni this year, then exciting times lie ahead! There will be loads of new people to meet and exciting things to do... but after the thrill of Freshers Week has passed, you’ll probably end up missing home a little bit too.

The thing to remember is you’re certainly not alone. Everyone gets homesick from time to time, and there’s lots you can do to be prepared.

Here are the TSR community's top tips.

Spruce up your room

TSR member Helloworld_95 says “make your new place as homely as possible” - this is some good advice. Although you may want to rush out the door to your SU or nearest pub the minute your parents leave, a good way of staving off the homesickness is to make your new place feel like home.

Make sure you pack your favourite bits and spend time setting up your new room when you arrive. Add posters, wall planners and other uni stuff that you pick up from the Freshers Fair to make your new space feel like yours. It'll feel a lot better than waking up to a grey and empty room - especially if you're hungover!

Check out the student groups and societies

After Freshers has blown over, sports clubs and societies will be throwing loads of welcome events for their new intake, so do be sure to join as many of these as you like when you go to your Freshers Fair.

Don't worry - you won't have to stick with them all - but joining a selection will give you the chance to try a bit of everything and meet a selection  of people. Filling your week with new things will also keep you buzzing about your new uni life, and as member jelly1000 says: “keeping busy gives you less time to dwell on things.”

Get a part-time job

Keeping busy with a few hour’s work every week gives you something different to do, and it can be a great way to have fun and meet people.

Check out anything advertised online or even around your uni; working at your SU’s party nights is a great way to get paid whilst socialising, for example, plus you'll have no hangover the next day! 

TSR Community Team member She-Ra shares her advice: 

“Check out vacancies in the student union bar and on campus. Working at your uni is an awesome way to socialise whilst topping up your loan.”

Get a part time job

Have fun with your flatmates

“Doing things with my flatmates has really helped me and means I spend less time by myself,” says Flauta. Little things like catching up with people for a coffee between lectures or heading to the SU in the evenings can make you feel so much more at home. 

Even when you're feeling pants, try to make the effort to get everyone together as a group. Whether you cook dinner together or start a new Netflix series, being around people will help take your mind off your homesickness much better than if you sat alone in your room.

Work the postman hard

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 new uni postal address.

Get into the routine of sending mail to them, and enjoy all the post you get in return, like TSR Community Team member Danny Dorito:

“I used to love getting post at uni - my mum used to send me packets of strawberry shoelaces.”

Don’t book a weekend to travel home immediately

“Going home more often definitely makes homesickness worse,” says EloiseStar, so try to delay your first visit home for as long as you can.

Instead, why not arrange for some mates to come visit your new home, 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 your campus will also make you realise how much you already know and will probably make you realise how settled you actually are already.

Get your mum and dad on Skype

We all know that sometimes chatting on the phone just doesn’t cut it. Instead, arrange some face to face time with your family and your mates, like member Rainbow Bright:

“Chatting on FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts makes missing home much easier to deal with.

Want tips from someone who's experienced homesickness first-hand?

Our Vlogger Petty is an international student who admits she's often felt homesick. Check out her three top-tips for dealing with it below:


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 first time you’re disappointed with your grade
  • If all your housemates go away for the weekend and you’re by yourself.

Any of these things could make you feel a bit down or homesick, so get wise to these triggers now and then 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 quality sleep and chat with someone who knows you well. Whatever you're going through, remember that it'll pass, and there's always someone out there you can speak to.

Why not head over to our chat forum and start a convo with someone new? Or maybe find other students at your university and make a new friend!

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

More on TSR: 

Everything you need to know about being a Fresher

See what university life is like by visiting our forum

7 Tips for not drinking at uni

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