Have you ever been to a place you’re supposed to love, but all you can think about is home?
Yes. I certainly felt homesick in my first year of University (and occasionally I still do). Today’s blog I am going to talk about why I felt homesick and how I overcame it.
Why I felt Homesick:
Here, I am going to quote Winnie the Pooh. Sounds silly, but he was a clever little bear.
‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’
My situation going to University was slightly different to others as I had a boyfriend who was staying on at my college for another year, Jack. We had, at this point, been together for 1 year. A bunch of really helpful (completely ignorant) people had told me they didn’t expect us to last the year apart. All those little comments really stuck in head. When you’re anxious about moving out or moving away from your family, comments like this can add to your worries. The first few weeks of University were hard on the relationship, but I was really lucky, he put in as much effort as I did and everything worked out brilliantly. I missed him a lot, and through the struggles I experienced in Freshers, he was there every step of the way. I missed seeing him every day, which I had done for a whole year. And just as a heads up, Jack and I did last, and it made us stronger. Long distance relationships are tough- but totally do-able.
The equally huge change for me was moving away from my family. My parents have always encouraged me to do my best and so I never felt like they didn’t want me to go. I knew they were proud of me. But sometimes feeling like expressing how you feel (AKA: homesick) makes you worry that people will be disappointed. Give yourself a little slap on the hand if you feel like this. If you feel homesick, you tell someone. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. There were countless nights I couldn’t sleep because I felt alone, or isolated. And you’re not. People get it, and chances are- they have experienced it.
During my very first Freshers event I had a really horrible experience and it kind of put me off. I was never much of a drinker or clubber before University, another thing that added to my pre-uni worries. I won’t go into details, but I left the club early, on my own and ran back to the student accommodation. Maybe it took me by surprise more because I had been clubbing a handful of times prior to University, so I wasn’t used to the sort of men that feel they have the right to grab you etc. The experience really shook me up. And this is a top top top tip- call someone. Even if it is 2am. I called my cousin, who was also having Freshers events that night, and at 2am she calmed me down and made me feel that little bit less alone.
After that I felt homesick because I was embarrassed about what had happened. I didn’t trust people in clubs. I felt homesick because the socialising at Freshers’ events put me on edge. I found Freshers hard, basically because I didn’t enjoy the night-time events after that and I didn’t feel that the people I was going out with had my back. During First Year, I didn’t really mix with my Flat at all.
I missed my little town bubble from home, with my lifelong friends and my parents and my little sister.
So- How did I change this?
- I got Skype. I called my parents and Jack almost every day in first year. Am I embarrassed- hell no. I did what I needed to, to feel better. I didn’t feel lonely anymore.
- I made my room ‘My Space’- I got a hot water bottle, I got myself a tray (so I could eat while I skyped!) and I made sure I had little bits of home dotted around.
- I made sure I saved the money to come home more.
- I got myself some good friends- this takes time, but all you need is 10 seconds of courage. Sometimes people feel like a noob walking up to people and introducing themselves. But be real, whats the worse that’s going to happen? You’ll be labelled as ‘too nice’ or ‘overly friendly’. 10 seconds of courage. Once you have introduced yourself to people you will feel SO much better. Remember, in Fresher’s everyone is trying to make friends, so strike while the irons hot! I met my two bestest friends during Freshers- but I didn’t live with them.
- I sort of ‘forced’ myself into other social groups. I basically adopted my friends Flat, who were a little bit more like me. I then lived with them second year.
- I grew in self-confidence- I am a nice person. I am a good person. People do like me. I didn’t want my sense of loneliness to make me feel like there was something wrong with me.
- I spoke to people about it- don’t be ashamed to be honest. It’s how you feel. She offered to meet before every lecture and go to the gym together so I had someone to socialise with every day. People really do understand.
So just remember, if you feel like this- you’re not alone. Others most definitely feel the same. But never feel embarrassed to admit you’re not enjoying yourself 100% of the time. That’s normal.
As Winnie the Pooh says, it just shows that you have something so good at home, that being apart is tough.