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Dealing with Homesickness at University

If there’s one difficulty I struggled with when it came to university, it was the fact that I was hours away from home. Despite all of the new-found freedom that came with moving into halls, I was insanely jealous of other students who still lived at home and got to see their families every day after classes. I would never have let my parents think that their choice in location would ever have had an impact on my own choices in life, but truth be told, I was very close to dropping out and returning home just days after they left me in Glasgow. It’s hardly uncommon for such a thing to happen, and some students simply realise that they just aren’t ready for it – it’s a big step to take and incredibly daunting, even if you feel like you’re cut out for it!

After a while, I eventually settled into my new surroundings. Of course, I still get a pang of homesickness every so often. It’s totally normal! Everyone’s different and will deal with it in differing ways, but I thought I’d share the things I found eased off the feelings a little bit back in my first few months away!


Join a society or club

I know that this is kind of standard advice, but becoming a member of a society or sports team can really help you find your feet in new surroundings. This was actually something that I didn’t do at first, but wish I had after joining a few things in my final years. Not only will it introduce you to a group of new people – some of whom may be in the same position as you – but it will also provide you with activities to keep you busy and hopefully take your mind off of things!


Find others who are experiencing similar feelings

They say that us islanders always manage to seek each other out. And, well, that might actually be true; if the Scottish islands were lacking young adults between the ages of 18-20 back in 2014, it’s because we were all in Glasgow Caledonian University’s halls of residence.

Upon leaving Islay, I thought I was heading to the city to try and get away from the whole idea of island life. But it actually became a great comfort to know that I had people around me that were from similar backgrounds and who were the same distance from home. They knew of a life without dual carriageways and cinemas, and had grandparents who told them off in Gaelic, just like mine. Not only did it make me come to appreciate my culture, but it also made my dorms feel like a home away from home. Even if you don’t have people around that are specifically from similar places, just buddying up with someone else feeling the same way as you do means you can both push through it together.


Bring things from home with you

This is kind of a 50/50 one for me; I’ve included it in the list because I’ve been told by others that it helped them, but in my experience it kind of made me think about home a lot more and therefore caused me to feel worse… For those who do say it works, bringing items from home can make you feel a little bit closer, and can act as a comfort.


Talk about it!

Feeling homesick is by no means something to feel embarrassed about, nor is it an uncommon thing. One coping strategy for me, be it in the case of sickness or feeling annoyed, is to talk about it. Like, I will just tell anyone who’s willing to listen about how I feel and repeatedly bring it up for as long as I need to until it’s out of my system. So in my first few weeks out in the big city, I would just tell stories about back home and talk about how small it is, what there is to do there – anything, really. People found it interesting because it was a lifestyle they’d never experienced before, and it helped me because I would get to chat about it, sometimes with a little cry, and then get on with things.


Don’t visit back home too soon

Another mistake I made. My granny gave this advice to my mum when she left the same island for Glasgow, and so my mum passed it onto me. However, unlike her, I didn’t listen – and followed them home after two days. Yup. Barely any time had passed since they helped me move in, I’d only met half of my flat, and Freshers week hadn’t even started. It was incredibly difficult to try and leave again – this time without them – and just caused tears and a load of confusion as to whether I should actually return to university. Give it a few weeks at least, at which point you’ll have hopefully had time to adjust to your new surroundings and get to know the people you’ll be around for the rest of the year.


Best of luck to you if you’re heading out to university or college! It’s a scary thought, but it was by far the best thing I ever did.


dealing with homesickness at university whathannahwrote


Featured image from Pexels





  • andlivloves

    I love the advice to talk about your homesickness! I remember my freshman year of college, my roommate and I got super homesick at the same time and we both just talked about how sad we were and what we liked about our families and it really helped!

    -Liv |

  • Miss Doll

    I’m in a long distance relationship, so I get homesick too at times. Bringing items from home helps me a lot, as well as eating foods that remind me of there.
    Great blog!
    Miss Doll –

  • aisasami

    THIS is the post that I want my sister to see. She just started at a college that is so far away from home as a freshman. Two days in, she cries to her mom and just wants to give up. She is being too negative. I tell her she needs to try things step by step, little by little. I will share this to her.

  • thoughtsfromjasmine

    In first year I was so homesick for most of the year. However, joining a society in second year made all the difference! It’s such a great tip for people, as is not going home toooo soon!

    Jas xx |

  • Nancy

    When I was in uni, I also had homesickness here and there. These are great tips for dealing with homesickness. It’s important to join a club or society – not only do you meet people, it helps show that you did more than just going to class on your resume. Talking about it helps as well – at least other people can give some advice to help you out!

    Nancy ♥

  • Kymberlee Faye

    These are some great ways to not feel homesick at college! I loved going to college. Even though I’m a super introvert and homebody, I’m glad I pushed myself to move away from home!

  • Tyas

    I agree with you about joining a club or organization, it makes you able to meet new people and spend time joining the club’s activities so you forget the homesick feeling. I rarely feel homesick, even if I’m now living 6hrs away (by train) from home. But when I do, it’s because I feel stressed and done with everything that I just want to go home instantly. And the best solution for that is either to call my parents or to go home 😅

  • Pushpanjali Roy

    This is such a honest post! I can vouch for these tipsI missed my home like crazy, back in my university days. My work took me further away from home and finding others experiencing similar feelings really helped. But bringing stuffs from home made me homesick.


  • Lupe

    I lived 30 minutes away from home the first two years so sometimes I would go home every weekend or not see my parents in a month. Being homesick didn’t happen as much since I was so close, especially because I would talk to my parents all the time.

  • I will gladly take your advice because I will have to do a semester abroad next year and I’m quiet nervous!! So thank you!! ✨

  • Carly May

    I’m moving out for university soon, and whilst I’m only an hour or so away on the train, I do feel anxious about leaving home. This post is really helpful, thank you!

  • I was studying quite far away from home but because part of my family was in my uni town i never felt homesick, although i was always very happy to go home! Great tips!

  • Tim Etheridge

    Joining a sports team really helped me. I had a really bad end to 2nd year and 3rd year wasn’t improving things, leaving me close to dropping out, but I’d started putting together a rugby 7s team for a tournament at the end of the year so threw myself into planning our training and socialising with the team and it was (just) enough to keep me going. Fast forward 6 years and most of the people I still talk to from uni are from that team!

  • millennialmanc

    Such a well written post! I have also written advice posts about Uni recently, nice to hear your tips! x

  • Lauren Thomas

    This is such a helpful post! I personally didn’t go to university but I know people that are going and I’ll be sure to direct them to this post as you give great advice! Great post xx

  • Colleen's Conclusions

    I don’t think I was homesick when I left for college. But I was when I first moved into my own apartment this year. I lived with a relative the first three weeks because I couldn’t find an apartment right away, but then I did the first week there. I just couldn’t get my keys until a few weeks later. I called my dad at bedtime the night before starting my real job and he was all you don’t miss me already. And I cried I dooooooo! LOL. I had to go home a lot the first month because I got rear ended and my car got totaled and he had to help me with insurance and stuff. One I stayed by myself for about a month though I was fine. I still get lonely sometimes but I like coming home to an empty apartment especially after a stressful day. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to deal with people at home after dealing with them all day.

  • The diary of Ellie

    This is one of the reasons that im not sure whether to go to uni and do the course i want to because its nearly 2 hours away from home! But these tips are really handy and i think might be useful if i do chose to move!

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