Homesickness and how to get past it

Photo by Dimitri de Vries on Unsplash

It's mid-September and you are crammed in a car beside books, your family, and boxes. You find yourself thinking back over the last month of intensive planning, excited discussions, and all the scenarios your mind has darted between, as you prepared for your first year at university. Now, however, sitting in a car among what feels like your entire life packed into boxes, you suddenly forget everything you were looking forward to and are overwhelmed with the feeling of ‘I want to go home'. This, if faced with for the first time, is a terrifying feeling. It can make you doubt ever making the choice of wanting to go to university and lead quickly to the thought: ‘It wouldn’t be so bad to live with my parents forever’. Though this feeling may be intense it is by no means permanent. And of course, very common. Below I have listed some tips on being away from home and combating homesickness.

Make move-in day more than just moving in

Take advantage of your loved ones making the trip down and organise a meal or day out in the city. Even have them stay the night if possible.


This might seem a bit intimidating, but it could be a nice distraction, discovering all of your new favourite places to shop, eat or spend time in (bookshops and parks are lovely and often calming).

Food from home

This could be recipes, snacks or perhaps something pre-made that you brought (which you could even freeze and save for a lazy day).

Socialise or stay in

The important thing is to not give yourself a hard time if you feel the need to cry, or have a night in and watch something comforting. Everyone goes through it at one time or another. Do not feel guilty for giving yourself a break. On the other hand, it is important not to stay locked in your room all week. Even if you feel like wallowing, it is important to push yourself to do things and meet new people. And without realising it, you will soon find yourself laughing with new friends or relaxing by yourself and notice you are feeling happy.

Bring things to decorate your room

Surround yourself with familiar objects and comforts. Anything from your favourite bedding, soft-toys, pictures of your friends and family - or ‘homey’ knick-knacks. It is amazing the wonders a few pictures, plants, and bedding can do to an unfamiliar room.

Have dates to look forward to.

Make plans with family, friends, or partners of when you are next going to see each other. Having this to look forward to can lighten the dread of leaving home for so long.