Homesickness Toolkit

young woman sitting alone looking at mobile phone

Ease out of those homesickness blues with some helpful hints from a current student

Many students at some point during their time at university have struggled with homesickness, whether they be in their first year or in their final year. This is a normal feeling as being in an unfamiliar environment with a different routine can be an adjustment for many and is nothing to be ashamed about. From my own personal experience and understanding from others, I have compiled a little ‘Homesickness Toolkit’ to help manage and overcome homesickness at university…

1. Throw yourself into university life. Try to get to know and socialise with your flatmates as well as your course mates. And join societies! Kent has many sports and non-sports societies that cater to all students. Have a look on the Kent Union webpage for more information regarding this. Having a strong support network around you is important, and just having a chat with a friend can make a world of difference!

2. Why not decorate your room with photos, posters or anything that makes you feel more at home? Having things around you that are familiar and comforting will make you feel more at ease in your new space. For example, I have a photo of my family that I always display in my room. This reminds me of the happy memories that I have shared with them, making me feel more relaxed and comfortable in my new room.

3. Keeping in touch with family and friends from home? Planning a phone or video chat catch-up with someone you miss can be a good way to feel closer to them. Maybe plan a specific day or time during the week to call to make sure everyone keeps that time free!

4. It sounds obvious but explore our beautiful campus! Whether you are in Canterbury or Medway, the University of Kent has so many facilities on offer for you to make use of. Familiarity with your surrounding area would help to combat the feeling of homesickness, as you will begin to love the new area you are calling home during term-time! Check out the online map for venues you might not have come across so far.

5. Why not plan a home visit? There is nothing wrong with going back home every once in a while. University is a change, and it’s sometimes nice to go back to a familiar environment. Or you could even plan for family and friends to come and visit you at uni. You could show them around town, around campus and your favourite hangouts!

It is okay to ask for help. The feeling of homesickness may pass, or you may continue to feel overwhelmed and might therefore benefit from support provided by Student Support and Wellbeing. If this is the case, then have a look at the resources available on the Student Support and Wellbeing webpage and get in contact if you need additional support.

Written by Lucie Morigeon, post-graduate student, 01.11.21


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