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Coping with homesickness at University

8 April 2019

5 mins

Currently, over this Easter holiday, I’m reuniting with friends and family in beautiful Essex. Returning home brings mixed feelings since the contrast between home life and Loughborough life is so huge!

Missing loved ones is felt both at University and at home as you live in your two separate bubbles. For this blog I’ve decided to employ my close ones to get a feel of how they cope with these feelings.

Homesickness at its worst

For me, the first day alone at University was the worst. You’re feeling so overwhelmed, knowing almost no one and facing independent life without family for a few months.

My best advice for a prospective student would be to feign confidence and dive head first into keeping busy with any distraction available. These distractions might include joining a society (advertised at Societies Bazaar), a new sport (advertised at Sports Bazaar), continuing training, finding a job or delving into course reading will soon become your new life.

I sobbed as if I’d never seen my family again on the first day of University, with my roommate staring at me like I was an alien from the opposite end of the room. But now as housemates we only cry through laughing at each other.

Parental advice

I interviewed my mum to see how she copes with ‘me’ sickness, while I’m gone. She wants me to state that she feels very lucky compared to past generations that we have Skype/Facetime because knowing that I am safe and emotionally well is such a reassurance.

So, a tip to cope with your homesickness is to ring your family or whoever you love because it means a lot to them! My mum’s top tip for coping as a parent of a University student is:

‘Looking forward to the next time I see you. I’ll think of a fun day to plan together, visiting or a shopping trip. If I’m really missing her I will dust her bedroom because all her things remind me of her.’

So be wild like my mum! Keep your room tidy and bond with your guardian over tidying your ‘home room’ for a topic of conversation.

In seriousness though, my mum gives this advice to parents:

‘Remain that you are always available on their schedule to talk to them. Support them and their mental health.’

From my best friend to your best friend

Next, I asked one of my best friends, Mandy, about her University experience with homesickness. Asking her how she copes with homesickness, she stated, ‘I don’t get homesick’.

Off to a great start, I focused on missing friends. She then deeply stated:

‘Your home friends visiting you will always be odd, like an outer body experience. But when your two separate worlds collide, it’s nice to have the most important people in my life all meet.’

For when this happens, advertising what your University has to offer is key to show your friends what they’re missing and bonding the two separate groups together.  For example, our lovely Loughborough fountain!

‘If you’re worried that you and your friends are growing apart, don’t be afraid to make first contact or reach out to people.’

Mandy’s top tip!

Keeping in contact with your home friends as best as possible really helps with the big changes happening in your life once you start University. Everyone is in the same boat once you leave college or sixth form, so don’t feel anxious if you drift apart for a while! Once you are reunited, value your time together and be in the moment!

Missing your soulmate

I have saved the best until last. The last section of this blog is dedicated to the most important member of your life: your pet(s). I know so many people at University who miss their pets over everyone else at home. Thus, it is vital to provide help to these students!

Firstly, take advantage of the animal meeting opportunities at the University such as puppy petting at the Student’s Union, going on Action projects such as the Alpaca farm (I met a cat at the alpaca farm!) or dog walking.

You can also visit the Kitten café in Nottingham for a pet-revolved day trip! Again, FaceTiming your pet is revolutionary, especially when they react to your voice! Additionally, there’s a Facebook group called ‘Loughborough Pet Posting’ which really helps to fill the pet-sized gaps in your heart whilst away from home! But if you’re very lucky, they’ll come to visit you!

To help give you some short-term help, I have put together a montage of all my friend’s pets to make you feel as warm and fuzzy as these cuties are!

To conclude, it was nice to talk to everyone about this blog and catch-up with people I’ve missed. So, keep in contact and meet up ASAP with your loved ones! I hope you all have a wonderful break over Easter and relax ready for the last term of this academic year!

Caroline x

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