How Often Should I Be Going Home?
I recently took an unofficial reading week and went home for five days, mostly because I had the flu but also because I just really, really wanted to go home.
There’s this feeling sometimes that you shouldn’t go home too much when you’re at university, and to an extent I think that’s true. If you go home every weekend, you can miss out on making friends at the uni, and end up feeling isolated and alone. That being said, I know lots of people who are home regularly, and still have a wide circle of friends and an active social life.
Last term, I felt that I had to restrict how often I went back home to see my parents, and ended up going back twice in the term. But I was ill and unhappy, and sometimes wished I could go back anyway. Also, I just really wanted to see my mum.
In contrast, this term, I told myself that I could go back more regularly. I try to see my parents every three weeks or so, and am next popping down to see my mum mid-week, for a couple of days when my lectures got moved. As a result, I’m happier at uni because I know that, if I need to, I can hop on a train and be back home as soon as I want.
To that extent, I am lucky, because I live a two-hour journey from uni. Some friends want to go home but can’t – one American friend went an entire year without seeing his parents, something which I couldn’t fathom, but if you live thousands of miles away, is necessary. Some friends live exactly where I do and still only go home at holidays.
It’s all about what makes you happy. When I was a fresher, I did worry what other people would think if I went home every two/three weeks, but I also knew I was very homesick, and I wanted to go back. While I do think sometimes you should try and brazen it out, stay at uni and experience the bright lights of Leamington Spa on a Friday once in a while, don’t force yourself to if you don’t want to. If you want to go home, go home. If you don’t want to, don’t. Don’t do what I did and force yourself to do something which feels wrong – you’ve got to figure out the balance of home/uni that works for you, and stick with that.