Yasmin writes on how to handle homesickness when you first move to the University
My name is Yasmin and I am currently in my 4th year of university. This year I studied abroad and had to adapt to a new culture and lifestyle. It was both exciting and scary at the same time. Carry on reading if you want to know how I dealt with homesickness when I moved away from home.
At first, it can be daunting moving to a different country or even just moving away from home. You start to doubt everything. Did I make the right choice moving? Why don’t I just go back home and live closer to my friends and family?
All of these thoughts are normal to have, and if you feel that you need further support, Middlesex University has many services that can help.
But I promise you that your feelings will change, and in time you will discover a stronger version of yourself. Don’t forget all those times you’ve been so much stronger and more capable than you first thought; prove to yourself that you can accomplish your goals and you will achieve amazing results.
Societies are a great way of getting involved in a variety of activities and making friends with those who have similar interests to you. If you want to be extra creative – think about something that you and other students at University would benefit from and start up your own society.
Keeping fit and healthy will also help with homesickness. The University has a newly refurbished gym with high-quality equipment or if you work better in a group you can join one of our sports teams - a great way to feel part of something!
Take the opportunity to travel around the U.K. Train journeys are a great way to see the amazing picturesque landscapes across the country! Why not organise a trip and get people to tag along! Who could say no to that?!
While you’re exploring, don’t miss out on trying local food in the country you are staying in. Whether you go up to Lancashire and try their delicious hot pot or head down to the seaside and eat our traditional and famous fish and chips; either way you will truly experience the essence of the country you are in.
Writing out your journey from start to finish will remind you of your progress throughout your time abroad. You can write down all aspects of your experience, from things like: “OMG how am I going to make it until the end of the year without my mum’s cooking?” or “Today, I got my first job!”
Writing a journal will keep you focused and motivated as you will see that you are slowly but surely achieving your goals, with some results being immediate and others maybe taking a little longer. Either way, you’ll feel really proud of yourself for achieving so much.
Even though you aren’t in your hometown, you can still create a warm and friendly environment around you. Personalise your room as much as you can, have photos of your greatest memories with friends and family, decorate it with your favourite posters and make it your own little space to relax and get away from the noise. It’s always important to take out time for yourself.
When we are feeling down, it can be natural for us to want to go home. However, it’s not always the best thing to keep going back.
You need time to adapt to your new home. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t work out the way you want them to at the beginning, GIVE IT TIME.
Always remember, you came here for a reason, prove to yourself that you won’t be defeated that easily, finish what you started and you will feel you have accomplished something out of your comfort zone. Not everyone can experience a new way of life and culture like you have – you’re doing great!