Moving away from home is something that many students will experience when they start University. For some the change will be an easy transition, allowing them to thrive on the freedom and independence that living alone offers. For others, it can feel like a struggle.
If you’re in the latter group then don’t worry you’re not alone, NUS research shows that 50 – 70% of students will feel homesick in the first few weeks, it’s completely natural!
Living away from home is a completely new experience and there are lots of things you’re going to have to learn but just remember everyone else is in the same boat. It can be difficult not knowing anyone at first but if you’re living with other first years they’re probably feeling just like you! And if you’re living with students in different years then why not ask them for tips? Getting to know your flatmates can make a huge difference to university life, and it makes kitchen encounters much less awkward! Tanya, a first year student, told me that at first she wasn’t too sure about her flatmates but once she got to know them they were really nice and making friends with them helped her to not feel isolated.
James, who is now in his fourth year at Huddersfield, said that moving to university was the hardest thing he’d ever done and was homesick for a long time but found that finding distractions and settling into university life really helped, he told me “Moving away from home sucks, but it sucks a hell of a lot less with good friends.”
Moving away while you’re at university has a lot of benefits, it’s not all doom and gloom and homesickness. You can become a more independent person, which is great as it can really prepare you for life after university – but yes this does mean you’re going to have to learn to use a washing machine. You’ve got more chance to make friends and spend time getting involved in all aspects of university life because you live so close – this also gives you the great benefit of being able to get up 5 minutes before that early lecture!
- Plan a trip home: If you’re feeling homesick then planning a journey home can give you something to look forward to.
- Get Skype: I know it’s not the same as actually being at home but it’s the closest you can get without being there, plus the best part: it’s free! It’s also great if you’re an international student as it’ll save on the huge phone bills!
- Organise a time to talk regularly: Planning a time to talk on the phone/Skype to people at home is a good idea because you don’t want to be ringing them every two minutes and you know that they’ll definitely answer, also if you’re an international student you can try to plan around time differences too.
- Join a society: There’s so many different societies at uni that you’ll be spoiled for choice! From pole dancing to gaming there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy. Joining a society gives you something to keep yourself occupied outside your course and is a great way to meet new people and go to social events.
- Explore: Getting used to a new town can be difficult and confusing but when you have a bit if free time why not explore? There’s lots to discover so why not just have a look round, it’s a great way to get used to the area and settle in.
- Make friends: Feeling lonely and isolated makes living away from home even harder to deal with. But being at university isa great chance to make loads of new friends, whether they’re on your course, in your flat or in your society, you’ll have loads of opportunities to meet people and chances are a lot of them will have similar interests to you.
- Learn to cook: It might seem like too much effort but Super Noodles and baked beans can get pretty boring after a while. Healthy food and drink is essential part of wellbeing and can have a negative effect on your mood.
- Make Huddersfield your second home!: You’re going to be here for a few years so try to make the most of it, there’s loads to do and I’m sure you’ll enjoy living in Huddersfield so the best thing to do is just through yourself into it.