News and tips
Posted on Tuesday, 11th October 2016
Homesickness “is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects” says Wikipedia.
By now you’ve had the excitement and nervousness of leaving home possibly for the first time in your life, and then the parties and meeting new people, the whole whirl of activity surrounding Fresher’s Week has taken over.
Now the reality starts to set in, and this is when homesickness can creep in. It starts usually with a sort of awkwardness about what goes where and can you arrange your room to make it feel more like ‘home’, you might bring out that soft toy you hid. The meals you once had cooked for you are now seemingly achingly so far away. You may even have contracted ‘Freshers Flu’ and wanted your Mum to soothe you.
Don’t worry we all feel homesick every once in a while, it’s really just the adjustment to new surroundings, and there are some tricks you can do to help alleviate the symptoms.
Understand what causes homesickness. If you understand why you are feeling homesick it can help you. Homesickness comes from the human need for connection, love, and security. Despite its name, your feelings of “homesickness” might not have anything to do with your actual home.
By Recognizing homesickness symptoms of Nostalgia, Anxiety, Depression and Abnormal Behaviour, this will alert you to action. You thought that your behaviour was strange during Fresher’s Week? Part of that could be homesickness. You may even find yourself getting short-tempered or even feeling physically sick, hence the word homesickness. Nostalgia is when you frequently think about your home or familiar things and people, usually through an idealized lens. You might feel preoccupied by thoughts about home, or find yourself constantly comparing your new situation unfavourably to your old one.
If the anxiety and or depression starts to kick in, this means you need help so Talk about your feelings with someone. You may find others feel the same too. You can Talk with friends and family back home but avoid obsessing over your old home, as it’s time to make a new one. Both Sheffield Universities and Unions also have advisers and centres at hand to provide free, and confidential help you with any queries or problems that you may have.
By keeping familiar things around, you can help that nostalgia, the smell of clothes that were washed at home, or your pictures of friends and family back home.
Do some things you loved to do at home, such as making a favourite meal, maybe suggest to others in your flat to all make a meal each and share it. See if there are any clubs at Uni, or maybe new sports or activities you’ve never tried before, get involved and enjoy the unique aspects of your new environment.
And finally, give it time. It will get easier as you start to make a new home in Uni, with new friends. The friends you make at Uni are usually the ones you make for life, not the ones from school, as you share so much with them. You may even find yourself getting homesick for Uni, when you go home!
Video with a few more tips;