Uni is a big deal in more ways than one. Having to cultivate a new group of friends, get used to how large the lecture theatres are, and ultimately, adapt to a brand-new academic environment. For many of us, it’s not necessarily just a new city but also a whole new lifestyle. We have to get used to handling our money without mum and dad ‘holding our hands’ and find that balance between working hard and playing hard.
You may be a seasoned traveller that has experienced a lot of change in your life (if this is the case, then great! You’ll probably be slightly more accustomed to the alterations that moving to uni will bring) However, moving to uni may be your first time properly embracing the world around you- having never lived anywhere outside of the comfortable bubble that is home, wherever home may be. If this is you then DON’T WORRY! I have been in your shoes too! Of course, we all respond to change differently- I’ve come across people that were so ready to leave home, and are BEYOND glad to be away from what they had grown to be so used to. On the other hand, although we are all glad to be at uni, some of my friends really miss home (more specifically their dogs but also their families too 😉)
As an 18-year-old “adult” I have finally grown used to the idea that more often than not in our lives, things do change. For many years I struggled with this idea, and had I not experienced so much of it in my own life I don’t think I would have found the transition to university so smooth (being the personality type that I am).
Take it from me, homesickness passes pretty quickly. At age 14, I was privileged enough to embark on a student exchange to Japan. As this somewhat threw in in the deep end with regards to being away from home, and as I was young and immature- homesickness hit me like a smack around the face. Being in a totally different culture and away from my immediate family was a totally different kettle of fish to what I was used to and so somewhat comparable to being at university. For a few weeks I was very ‘jittery,’ homesick and out of place. Until I adapted to the new environment I felt constantly lost, even when I was with my host family. However, once I threw myself into the culture and atmosphere of Japan, I began to appreciate the experience for the amazing one that it was. (Independence is AMAZING too!)
My advice for overcoming homesickness is to make sure that you put yourself out there, set aside any self-doubt and find people that you mesh well with. Also… although 9AMs are an absolute nightmare to get up for… you often find many of the people that are raring to learn and succeed, and being around such motivated people is inspiring too! Study groups and tutorials are also a great chance to meet people and work through anything you’re stressing about academically; and of course, there will always be someone either at your hall or around you that will be there to support you as a friend.
Though there are of course the odd coming and going waves of wanting to have a long chat with mum on the sofa, or going out for a coffee with your childhood bestie; there is always so much to love about uni life and first year really is something special. It’s not rare to miss home, and that okay!
As I write this, I am sitting with two friends as they battle through their first Maths 150 assignment of the year, claiming that “simplifying the [terrifyingly difficult looking] equation is the most satisfying feeling ever.” Ultimately, as silly as a maths equation seems to me as a law student, seeing my friends grinning over an assignment leaves me smiling- knowing that less than a month ago, these people hadn’t even met.
Until next time!