My parents divorced when I was 11, and even when they were separated they still fought and argued about everything. Sometimes I hated living at home.
But now I live two hours away from everything I’ve ever known, I regret feeling that way. I miss my family more than I expected to.
Is this your first time living away from home? You’ve essentially left behind everything you have ever known, and that can be a really hard adjustment. Even if your family life is strained, it’s natural if you miss home. Most people at uni do.
I would be completely fine during the day, but when it came to late at night I would lie in bed and cry. One minute I could be watching a movie and the next I could be sobbing. I missed my mum’s hugs, watching Disney films with my little sister, and playing with my cats.
Maybe it’s different for you. But, however you experience it, homesickness is never a pleasant thing to go through.
So what can you do to cope with feeling homesick?
First of all you need to know that you are not alone. So many people around you are going through the exact same thing. It might feel embarrassing, but you can talk to your flatmates or coursemates about it. Chances are they’ll want to talk too.
And hey, mutual suffering is a great bonding experience so you’ll probably come out of it with some friends.
Have you got a pinboard on the wall in your room? Use it. Take some photos of your friends, family, and pets so you can look at them when you miss them. You can also take framed photos although these may take up limited surface space!
I have five photos pinned above my bed that I see every morning and evening.
Make sure you have enough minutes on your phone to call home regularly, at least once or twice a week. Now I’m no longer at home, my little sister has to spend a lot of time home alone after school, so I try to call her during these times.
If you’ve got a decent Wi-Fi connection, use FaceTime, Skype or Facebook Messenger for video calls.
This first term is full of opportunities to socialise and get involved with societies. Join anything that you think could be interesting, you can always drop them later if you don’t enjoy it.
This will help you to keep busy as well as giving you something to talk to your family about (parents love to hear about all the fun things you’re doing).
Having things to look forward to is really important. So, if you’re starting to miss your family and friends, why not arrange your next trip home?
I booked a train for six weeks after I left home - in fact, I’m on the train home writing this right now. If the first few weeks of homesickness don’t get any easier, knowing you’ll see your family soon will really help.