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It’s an emotion every new fresher feels at some point, whether it’s the moment your parents leave on moving day or perhaps when reality sets in after all the Freshers madness. For you, this is the first time you will have stayed away from home for a prolonged period of time, minus holidays and sleepovers, of course! Feeling homesick is a natural response to the dramatic change in lifestyle that you undergo when moving to uni, and believe me, you won’t be the only one feeling this way!
Even though most of your uni evenings will be taken up with your studies (by this I mean nights out) [no, really, it is actually taken up with study in 2nd and 3rd year. Sorry to break that to you – Ed.], there will be times when you miss the routine and comfort of being at home. In my first year at Lancaster, there were times when I would consider going home just for one night in a bid to cure my feelings of homesickness, so much so that the Trainline has taken up pride of place in my Bookmark Menu – and I only moved an hour away from home! Although your heart may tell you to contact your family or friends back home, I can assure you that spending the night alone in your room is not the best way to adjust to your new lifestyle. But don’t worry – I’m here to help, and to give you a handful of tips for when moments of homesickness threaten to disrupt your exciting new lifestyle.
My first tip is to throw yourself into university life: join societies, go to freshers events, and perhaps organise nights out with neighbouring flats. By keeping yourself busy, all thoughts of life prior to uni will be banished and replaced by the fun and excitement of first year.
When you do feel homesick, try talking to one of your flatmates about it. Bottling up your feelings will only heighten your longing for home rather than making you feel better. And by talking to others in a similar situation you will discover that you are most definitely not alone. If I learned anything last year it would be that you can always rely on the people around you, whether your flatmates or friends you made on your course. Whenever one of us had a breakdown – and believe me, there were plenty of those moments – there was never someone far away with a cheesy movie and a pot of Ben and Jerry’s in hand.
Moving away can be a big challenge, but the benefit of being on a campus at Lancaster is that you are living with thousands of other students who have all undergone the same experience, so you are never truly alone.