Homesickness is something that thousands of students struggle with while at university. The first thing to remember if you are missing home is that this is completely normal. While it may seem that everyone around you is enjoying their newfound independent lifestyle (partying every night, rolling in at whatever time they feel like and eating what they want to eat when they want to eat it), that doesn’t mean that they aren’t missing home at the same time. Whether it’s your family, your partner, your best friends you’ve known since you were twelve or even your pet that you are missing, there are plenty of ways to deal with homesickness while at university.
One way to feel connected to family and friends at home is through making use of FaceTime and phone calls. Technology is something that students today often take for granted – it wasn’t so easy to stay in contact a few decades ago! If you have an iPhone or an iPad and know someone at home who does, what better way to have a catch up than over FaceTime? It’s as close to a face-to-face conversation as you can get while living away from home, and means that you get to see your loved ones’ facial expressions as well as hear their voice. Alternatively, if this isn’t something you enjoy (or you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi connection), never underestimate the power of a phone call. Whether it’s just to have a quick catch up, or a two hour gossip, your friends and family will love to hear from you. Remember that they are probably missing you just as much as you are missing them.
An alternative way to deal with homesickness when you’re feeling really low is to keep yourself busy. Don’t just sit in your room dwelling on how much you miss home, as you’ll be missing out on all of the fantastic things that university life has to offer. If you’re in first year, the importance of getting to know your flat mates and people on your course cannot be stressed enough. These are the people who will stop you feeling lonely and always be around to cheer you up. In addition to this, there are always so many more people to meet and experiences to have outside of your flat or student house. Even if you are in your final year of university, joining a new society is the best way to stop you feeling homesick. Choose a sport or club that requires a substantial amount of commitment and you simply won’t have as much time to sit around missing home!
If it’s been a long time since the last time you visited your home town, this could also be contributing to your homesickness. Semesters at university can sometimes feel like they are dragging on forever, so it might not be the best thing to wait until the next university holiday before you can see your family and friends. Why not book a weekend to go home within the next few weeks? Admittedly, travelling by train can be rather expensive and not something that everyone can afford to do too often. It is, however, worth looking into other options. Megabus coaches go from Cardiff to most major UK cities for prices that are much more student-friendly. If you can afford a trip home, this is something definitely worth considering.