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Settling in at University and Dealing with Homesickness

Up to 70% of all students experience different degrees of homesickness. While this may seem like a minor issue at first, it may develop into a variety of emotional and physical problems such as emotional instability or the inability to concentrate. Here are some tips that may assist you with settling in at University and dealing with homesickness.

Find appropriate accommodation

University dormitories may not be the best place to live and study, especially if you are an introvert and need some personal space. Finding private accommodation may be a solution, but you will be away from the campus where most of the communication with peers takes place. Depending on your preferences, renting an apartment in close proximity to your university with several like-minded friends may be the optimal choice to balance a social life with academic necessities.

Socialisation is the key

Keep in mind that your relocation breached your contact with the majority of your friends and relatives. This emptiness may manifest itself in the sense of severe homesickness and the feeling that your life quality has suddenly decreased in all spheres. Try to engage in different university activities, find a popular bar, visit a local gym, or schedule other group activities. Building relationships with others is the best remedy against low spirits and melancholy.

socialising and settling into university

Hobbies, habits, and habitats

The previous idea also refers to your lifestyle. The overwhelming pressure of the first academic year at university frequently forces freshmen to abandon their habits, hobbies, or exercise routines. Try to find a healthy balance allowing you to take care of yourself and maintain your well-being. This will also help you to avoid academic burnout by providing positive interruptions and distractions.

Something old, something new

Notwithstanding the above, remember that you came all this way to expose yourself to new opportunities rather than stick to your old life patterns. Are there some opportunities offered by your new place of residence? Just think about the workshops, language classes, musical lessons, sports centres, theatres, and exhibitions present in the majority of big cities. Keep an open mind and use the benefits offered by your new environment to realise your aspirations.

Give yourself some time

The sense of an emotional rollercoaster is frequently caused by coping stress. Scientists identify a number of stages in the process of accommodation to new living conditions such as anxiety, rejection, fear, anger, gradual acceptance, and enthusiasm. Remember that you are a human being that needs time to adapt to stress. Try to avoid self-criticisms and accept these feelings as an inevitable accommodation phase.

Integrating into university life may be a challenging experience for many students. The main advice in this sphere is to be realistic in your expectations and avoid unnecessary stress. If you feel that you fail to cope with new problems, try to discuss your problems with your department supervisor or seek help from a professional therapist.