And we’re back! After three months of working full time, I am making my return. So happy September everybody! Did you have a nice summer?
We all know that September means the dreaded back to school period. But it also means a fresh start, particularly if you’re going off to uni for the first time. So this week, we’re going to have a little series of posts all about moving to uni.
As somebody who picked up and moved five hours away from home, I know how scary it can be to fly the nest and go so far away, particularly when all your friends seem to be sticking within a one hour radius of your home town. So I thought I’d compile a list of tips that might help you deal with the inevitable pangs of homesickness that will strike during your first few months.
- Throw yourself into the social life. It’s hard when your friends have dispersed all over the country and you’re living somewhere completely alien to you. You know nobody, and you miss everybody. The best way to tackle this is to make new friends, and join in with everything that you can. Whether it’s a trip to the pub, a game of table tennis in the common room, or a movie night, get involved. There are hundreds of new people to meet in your flat, on your course, and just about everywhere else, so take full advantage of all the new faces and make plans everywhere you can.
- Plan your trips home in advance. Being so far away can mean hefty ticket prices. Find out which way home is cheapest (train, coach, or even flight) and book in advance to save your precious pennies. Trust me, booking last minute might be convenient, but it isn’t cheap.
- Master basic life skills before you move. At the risk of sounding patronising, you’re going to have to learn how to do things for yourself. Unlike people who stay close to home, it’s not so easy to just pop home at the weekend to get fed some vegetables or ask your mum to do your laundry. It’s the little things you don’t think of that catch you off guard, like how long you need to boil potatoes for to get the best mash, or what to do when your shower won’t drain. Although your parents may only be a phone call away (and Google is always at hand) it’s best to be prepared so you know what to do if you accidentally mix bleach and ammonia.
- Connect with your lecturers. Although they might not be able to give you a mumsy cuddle when you’re feeling homesick, they might just make you a cup of tea and talk through what’s bothering you. Lecturers are amazing both inside and outside the classroom, so make use of their support and don’t be afraid to talk to them if you’re struggling. They’ve heard it all before, so they know how to help.
- Make your room homely. Coming back from a long day at uni and shuffling into your tiny, bare student room is very disheartening when you’re feeling homesick. Make your little shoebox feel like yours, rather than a temporary student residence. Decorate with pictures, bunting, posters – whatever you feel like! You can turn even the dingiest of rooms into a cosy home if you try hard enough.
Got any more tips, or want any more advice? Don’t be afraid to comment, or drop me a tweet if you’d like to chat.