Once the excitement of freshers is over and you’re settled into your lectures, it’s completely normal to feel a bit homesick or lonely. There’s much less going on all of a sudden and you’re likely to be alone in your room more than you have been before. For a lot of students, uni is the first time they’ve been away from home, and my friends and I have all agreed that October to Christmas was when we felt the most homesick.
I found that I missed home the most when I was alone in my room because I couldn’t just pop downstairs and have a chat with Mum, or meet up with my mates. During freshers, I was constantly busy with nights out, cooking with my flatmates and induction, so I was distracted or sleeping most of the time! Once freshers is over, try to keep up some of the activities you were doing – meet up with friends, go on nights out and socialise. During the first month or two of uni, me and my friends were taking it in turns to cook a meal and then we’d all eat together – that way we were cooking much less and seeing each other every day.
During my first year I joined the netball club. We would meet up to train on a Monday and then we would all go to Walkabout together on a Wednesday (the best night out in my opinion). We would also go out for meals and play games. Unfortunately, this was all cut a bit short when I had to go home for lockdown, but when I was actually at uni, it was a great way to meet new people and spend my time (it also kept me slightly fit)!
One thing I would highly suggest is to not lock yourself in your room! It’s very easy to stay in bed and watch Netflix but say yes to everything you’re invited to and make an effort to socialise. By Christmas, most people will have settled into their friendship groups and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to get involved.
The silver lining to freshers being over is that you can now meet your course mates. You’ll spend three years in lectures and seminars with these people so if you can make some great mates then that’ll make your time at uni much more fun. Chances are that you’ll have something in common with these people too – after all, you’re on the same course.
As far as I can tell (after my extensive research, which consisted of a conversation with some of my friends), most people feel a bit homesick until about Christmas and then when they come back and are fully settled into uni life, with some good friends, they feel much better. Some people, of course, won’t feel homesick at all, but this is definitely the minority! If you are struggling or are not happy, then try and speak to some of your friends. I know me and my mates were bonding over missing home and making each other feel better!
However, if that’s not helping and you’re unhappy then University College Birmingham offer a range of wellbeing services. You can find contact information for all of these on the website, or ask a member of staff and they’ll be happy to help.