If you’re one of this years freshers, let me be the hundredth person to welcome you to Leicester! These next few years are going to be extremely memorable, and I hope that you make the absolute most of them.
Ever since I had found out that I would be going to university, I was both excited and extremely nervous. I’d lived in the same house my entire life and had scarcely been away from it for longer than a fortnight. Moving all of my things into an oddly arranged room that I’d never seen before, saying goodbye to my parents and watching them drive away felt very surreal. I then distinctly remember sitting down on the end of my freshly made bed (thanks mum!) thinking “so… what now?”.
Living away from home for any extended period time can feel pretty daunting, and as much as I would like this post to be irrelevant, I know that homesickness is an issue that effects a lot of people in one way or another. Having started a new university twice now myself, I’d like to share some of my advice on how to deal with that horrible feeling.
Get out of your bedroom!
The beauty of starting university is that pretty much everybody moving into your halls/flat/house will be in exactly the same position as you. Just go outside and say hello! Get to know your flatmates, by going to the taster sessions and/or socials together (which more often than not have free food, get you discounts on drinks, or a new t-shirt!).
…and out of your shell!
Don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. If it says fancy dress, just go for it! If there are some extremely weird challenges written on the back of your t-shirt, you have nothing to lose by trying them! (I mean what’s a better way to get to know people, than 14 of you being squashed into the same toilet cubicle for a sardine selfie?).
Take something that will remind you of home, and bring you some comfort and nostalgia, for those times when you start to miss it. Most people go for photographs for their wall, or bringing their favourite cuddly toy. I bought both of the above, and a GIGANTIC bag of tea bags with my favourite mug.
And on that note…
Don’t forget about home!
Just because you’re the one whose moved away, doesn’t mean that your parents won’t be feeling a little sad that you aren’t around! There are so many ways to keep in touch.. Skype, FaceTime, call, message… maybe it’s even time to finally accept that friend request that you’ve been ignoring since they joined Facebook!
Confide in new friends!
Like I said before, pretty much all of you new freshers are in the same boat here. If you’re missing home, talk about it. A lot of the time it is comforting to hear that somebody else is feeling the same way, and sharing these things can help you bond and settle in that little bit more.
…or in the Counselling and Wellbeing Service.
The university has a free, confidential service that you can go to just the once, or get ongoing support from. Check them out here.
Hopefully, the next time you visit home, you won’t be able to wait until you’re back in halls!
Until next time, readers!