We’re at week seven of term now, halloween and bonfire night are over and so you may have started thinking about Christmas. For me, this is often the point in term where I start to feel a bit homesick. I remember in first year I had made friends, but I felt like the relationships were still a bit shallow (we hadn’t known each other for long to be fair). We’d chat about our course, TV programmes we’d watched and what our secondary schools were like but I felt like I’d had enough of asking people what they thought of this week’s bake-off episode. I was missing the deep connections with my friends at home that had taken five or six years to develop, and I started to feel lonely.
First of all, if you’re feeling lonely- don’t worry, you’re probably not the only one. Here are some of the things that I did when I felt homesick and lonely in first year.
- Keep in touch with friends from home
Lots of articles I read about going to uni talked about how your uni friends will be friends for life and that most people will eventually drift away from their home friends. In my opinion that’s not true. I have met some amazing people at uni and I love them to bits, but you can still stay in touch with your old friends no matter what happens. When I was feeling lonely I would Skype or FaceTime friends from home, or even just send them a quick text. Once I texted a friend from home and she phoned me immediately. We chatted for ages and I felt much better. Share the dates you’re home for the holidays with each other and meet up with them as much as possible. Even if you have revision or assignments to do, you can always study in a cafe together. No matter what we were doing, I found that when my friends and I met up it was like we’d never gone to uni!
- Open up
It might be that your uni friends are feeling the same way. If you feel brave enough, share how you’re feeling with them and together you can work towards feeling better. This might mean that you can both make an effort to see each other more – go out for dinner, stay in and watch a film or explore Birmingham together. The more shared experiences you have, the closer you’ll get.
- Don’t compare yourself to others
Finally, in an age of social media it’s so easy to see someone’s latest Instagram that they’ve uploaded with a big group of friends and feel jealous of what they seem to have that you don’t. How come they’re so close with their flatmates? How do they have that many friends already? Why am I not as happy as they are? On social media, people are just sharing the best bits of their lives that they want you to see. You don’t know how they’re feeling when they’re alone, or if they really feel that close to their seemingly perfect group of friends. Take posts on social media with a pinch of salt and if you feel that you need to, take a break for a while.
I hope this has helped some of you who may be feeling lonely or homesick. Please feel free to leave any comments below.
Until next time,