How to deal with the homesick feels while embracing your new uni life
Homesickness is an unfortunate by-product of finishing high school, moving out of home and starting the next phase of your life. No matter how independent and prepared you are, you’ll undoubtedly miss home at one point or another. So here are a few coping strategies you should try that will make your homesickness a little bit easier to get through.
Escape from social media
It’s impossible to fully experience and settle into a new place when you’re constantly checking up on what’s happening at home, giving yourself FOMO and talking to your family and high school friends all the time.
You don’t need to completely cut yourself off from your old life in order to start your new one, but taking a break from social media will force you to adjust to the reality of moving away and ease some of those “I would do anything to be back home” feelings.
Surround yourself with familiar things
Bringing your favourite bed sheets or framed pictures with you when you first move away will make everything feel a little less strange and unfamiliar.
Obviously don’t recreate your entire bedroom from your parents’ house (that’d be super creepy), but having things around you that feel like home will make the transition into your new life a lot less intimidating.
Make a list of everything you want to do and see in your new city
Whether it’s the classic tourist spots or a cool café your friend told you about, making a list of things you want to see and places you want to visit will give you an incentive to go out and explore your new city.
Not only will it be a great distraction from your homesickness, but experiencing the alien place you’ve moved to will give you a chance to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and hopefully stop you from getting lost in those first few months.
Get involved at uni
Clubs and societies are a great way to stay busy when you’re missing home and will help you meet people who share the same interests as you. The more things you’re doing at uni and the more people you know, the less terrifying everything will seem and the more comfortable you’re going to feel.
While putting yourself out there can be terrifying at first, you’ll thank yourself for forming friendships early in the semester.
Set dates to go back home
Moving away doesn’t mean you can’t visit every now and then, so figure out a weekend you’re free and go back home. Knowing you’ll be seeing your mum/dog/best friend soon will give you something to look forward to and make the blue days just that little bit more bearable.
Just be careful not to head home too often. You need to give your new city the chance to feel like home or you run the risk of not completely settling in and making your homesickness even worse.
Use moving as an opportunity to grow
One of the best parts of moving away from your hometown is the opportunity to be whoever the hell you want to be. You don’t need to be the same person you were in high school, so use moving as a chance to grow into your new self.
Try out new hobbies, pursue new interests, wear the clothes you didn’t feel you could back home and take advantage of this new independence and freedom you have to express yourself. Chances are you’ll adjust to your new life even faster, and maybe like it even more than home.
Penny is a Philosophy and Media and Communications student at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys travelling, snacking, and not going to the gym.