Coping with Homesickness
I hope you’ve been enjoying Welcome Week and are beginning to settle in.
Moving to university can be a massive challenge, even if you’ve been away from home before. As someone who struggles with homesickness, I wanted to give you a few ways that have helped me to feel more at home at university. It takes time to settle in and you will naturally feel more relaxed over the next few weeks, but here are a few ways to help speed up the process.
Decorate your room
Decorating your uni room in a way that reflects your personality plays a big part in creating a space that makes you feel secure and relaxed, and adding touches like blankets, cushions and fairy lights will make it feel really cosy. Decorating is also a fun project to keep your mind busy and there are some great shops near campus (including Wilko at Cannon Park, Tiger in Leamington Spa and Ikea in Coventry) where you can get a few more decorations to make it feel more personalised and homely!
Listening to music/the radio
In the same way that decorating your room can create a more relaxed and homely atmosphere, listening to music or the radio (especially if it’s a station you listen to at home) can also help make things feel more familiar. Being in a completely quiet room can focus your attention more on how you’re feeling so listening to the music you love can massively lift your mood.
You might not feel hungry if you’re missing home but eating a good meal, particularly one that you might have at home, can be very comforting. Cooking is a great distraction but if you’re not feeling up to making a meal yourself, it might be a good idea to get some friends or flatmates together and try one of the restaurants nearby or treat yourself to a pizza!
Find a favourite spot on campus
Exploring the campus and finding a favourite place can really help you feel more settled and make the campus feel more familiar. I really enjoyed taking walks and browsing the bookshop last year and found that walking around and exploring made a big difference when adapting to a new environment. We have a beautiful campus so getting out of your room, making the most of the autumn colours and getting some fresh air can help you feel refreshed and enjoy your surroundings.
Keep in touch with home
Everyone is different when it comes to keeping in touch with home, but I find that regularly catching up with my family and friends is really comforting and makes me feel a lot more supported. Chatting about what your family and friends have been doing can also take you out of the university bubble and talking about all the things you’ve been up to at Warwick can remind you that even if you feel homesick, life at uni is really exciting! If you live within a distance where you can travel home, planning your next trip back can help give you something to focus on and look forward to if you’re missing home. There sometimes seems to be an idea that you should stay at uni as much as you can to settle in but I’ve found that regularly going home gives me a chance to recharge physically and mentally which helps me work more productively and enjoy my time at uni more. Everyone works differently, but I think going home as often as you feel you need to is a good thing!
Coming to uni is a huge step so homesickness is completely normal and it will get better in time. Most people will experience homesickness to varying degrees so talking to your friends and flatmates about it can help remind you that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. One of the things that kept me going at the start of First Year was remembering how far I’d already come to get to this point and how many exciting things uni life has to offer. Once your course is in full swing and you’re getting stuck-in studying a subject you’re passionate about, you’ll feel more focused, settled and can really feel part of life at Warwick.