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Fresher’s Week hype guarantees the most fun and exciting week of our lives. Starting life at university brings out both enthusiasm and anxiety about the move, meeting new people and having new responsibilities. What people fail to mention is that for some students this apprehension emerges as loneliness and homesickness. For most students, everything they are familiar with has changed: they are away from parents, friends, and their hometown. They even have different routines. It is absolutely normal to feel homesick when you come to University, but with these tips and a little effort, you should soon be back to enjoying your student experience.
Let’s face it: there is no point staying in your room and thinking about home. In fact, it will only make you feel worse. University is full of opportunities, social societies, sport activities and campus events. Get involved, try new things and make sure you always have something to do.
Make new friends
Be with other people. Even if you don’t have any best friends, you still need people in your life. Try to seem approachable. Knock on other people’s doors and suggest watching a movie or eating your meals together. What do you have to lose by trying? Feeling shy when meeting new people is normal, but with practice you will feel better.
Keep a positive attitude
This sounds easy, I know, but it actually is feasible to keep a positive attitude. Keep reminding yourself of all the positive reasons you are here and why you wanted to experience university life. Maybe even keep a diary of all the amazing new things that happened to you, new opportunities you have grabbed or new friends you’ve made.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Phone home regularly, but not too often. Try to share to your feelings with the people close to you. They will encourage you and make you feel better. However, as a student try to enjoy your university life rather than spending hours on the phone. Remember to focus on the positives too!
Try positive thinking
Thoughts strongly influence what we feel. Here are some thoughts that might be helpful when you are feeling down:
- Just because I’m alone now doesn’t mean I’ll always be alone.
- Everybody, even the most popular students, gets lonely at times.
- Being lonely doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. I can calmly experience loneliness and learn to grow creatively from time with myself.
- I care about myself. I am here with myself, which is pretty good University, some of the best, in fact!
Make use of student support services
Lancaster University provides excellent support services. Homesickness is completely normal and universities are experienced in helping students settle in. The Lancaster Nightline is a listening and information telephone, email and instant messaging service run by students for you. They offer a wealth of free information or just a non-judgmental listening ear. All calls remain anonymous.
Don’t forget that homesickness is an absolute normal feeling and that many students face it. Try not to let this feeling overrun you. Manage to get through it and always remember to enjoy your once in a lifetime student experience to the fullest!