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What should I do if I feel homesick while at university?

Homesickness is a completely normal and natural feeling, and most students will feel homesick at some point during their time at university
A sad looking teddy bear
© University of York

Homesickness is a completely normal and natural feeling. Not everyone feels comfortable admitting it, but most students will feel homesick at some point during their time at university. Whether it’s for a few minutes, a few days or a few weeks, it’s easy to miss home comforts and loved ones from time to time.

Managing homesickness

Here are some tips that might help you deal with any feelings of homesickness at university.

  1. Bring some home comforts with you (or get someone to post them to you). Whether it’s a picture of your pet, your favourite throw or mug, bring something with you that reminds you of home that will make you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.
  2. Try new things.
    You may be someone who is happy in their own company, or you may be tempted to hibernate in the comfort of your room, but university is a great place to try out new things and find new interests. Why not try out a new society? York has more than 180 societies to choose from and get involved with and our ‘Give it a Go’ initiative is the perfect way to try something out without having to commit, as all of our events have the GIAG Guarantee: no experience or membership necessary! Sometimes it might feel really hard to motivate yourself but you’ll feel so much better for doing it.
  3. Regularly catch up with family and old friends.
    It’s okay to admit that you miss them — they will undoubtedly be missing you too and sometimes just hearing a familiar reassuring voice can make such a difference to your mood.
  4. Tell a trusted flatmate or friend how you are feeling.
    A problem shared is a problem halved and you never know, they may be feeling it too or have some good advice to share.
  5. Invite friends and family to visit you.
    Students often tell us that returning home too close to the start of term can increase their feelings of homesickness, so why not try out this alternative? You’ll still get to see your favourite people and you’ll be able to share with them all that you’ve learnt since starting university.
    Everyone is different though, so if you do feel that a visit home or to friends would be best for you then that is absolutely fine. Don’t forget to get yourself a young person’s railcard so you can save money on any trips you make.
  6. Ask for help if you’re struggling.
    There are so many people who will be happy to lend a sympathetic and supportive ear. At York, our Student Hub teams are on hand to support all students and each college has Welfare teams and College Tutors to provide confidential pastoral care.
    College Tutors are trained postgraduate students who live in college and help resolve issues or point you to specialists. Regardless of whether you are an on-campus resident or not, you can arrange an appointment with them. For more information about the support we offer at York visit our Health and Support webpages.
  7. Know that it’s okay not to feel okay!
    Remember you are definitely not the only one feeling this way, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
  8. Make time to do the things you love.
    Whether it’s socialising with friends, settling down with a good book or a game or two of FIFA, be sure to give yourself something to look forward to every day — and be kind to yourself.
© University of York
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