Whether you’re studying abroad or you’re just 4 hours away from home, it is possible that you'll get homesick sometimes and that is absolutely fine. Here are some tips and recommendations to help you with adapting to your new home and making the best of your university experience!
Get familiar with your surroundings
This may not work for some of you if you’re still staying in the same city but if not, try to get familiar with your bearings; get to know the place you are staying! Go on walks, look up cool and interesting places you might like to visit; museums, historical places or visit a bookstore/café.
Act like a local
I know it’s challenging and strange to adapt to a different place, but the best way to get used to living in a different place is to feel confident and accept that where you’re living right now is your second home. Look at pros instead of cons, be positive! Blend in! Ipswich is a beautiful place; everyone, including locals, have been so nice and welcoming right from the start. The University of Suffolk team have also been very nice and welcoming! Since we’re a small university compared to others, it’s much easier to find yourself in a friendly environment. Always have a smile on your face and don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ because we know how annoying it can be when you hold the door for someone and they don’t even bother to say ‘thank you’! Think of the stuff that reminds you of home (decors, fragrance, photos, etc) and surround the place you’re living with them.
No more takeaways
Did you know that an average Brit spends more than £100 on takeaway/fast food every month?! If you’re living without your family, it is likely that you’ll get tired of cooking. And it’s a fact that we don’t all have the time to prepare dishes like our families. Sometimes you’ll listen to your stomach and make a stir fry at 1am (been there, done that). That is okay! However, decreasing the amount of takeaways you order will both help you in terms of your health and also financially. Start easy; try making simple meals, use your imagination. Cooking or baking can distract you from missing home too much or they could be a fun activity not only for you, but between you and your friends/flatmates. Make a mess or burn it: you’ll get there! You can even find other people who enjoy cooking and bond over it.
Join a group or society
To meet new people with the same interests as you, you could try and join a society. Our Students’ Union offer a variety of groups from the Film Society to the LGBT+ Society and many more. If you can’t find something appealing to your interests, you could either start your own society or, you could nominate yourself to be a course representative, department officer or even SU President! Getting involved with your university and Students’ Union will definitely give you the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Start a blog
Starting a blog, sharing your thoughts and views will help you get away from stress and could also give you a break from all the uni work! Based on your interests, you can start blogging and even start earning money from it while also enjoying it.
Get out of your comfort zone
Coming from an introvert, going out of my comfort zone and trying different things definitely doesn't sound easy. As much as waking up and leaving your warm bed for classes may sound like you’re ‘out of your comfort zone’, challenging yourself with different activities can distract you from feeling homesick and you could even find something new that you now enjoy! Perhaps, you could join a yoga class, wake up really early to go for a run, find a job or join a gym…while doing these, you may also meet new people and make more friends!
Keep in touch with your family
No matter how close or how far from home you are, it’s always good to hear a familiar voice that reminds you of home. I know it might be hard hearing their voices sometimes because they remind you of home but pushing your loved ones away will only create more frustration and stress. Remember that they’re always there to listen and talk to you, no matter how far away you are from home. There’s nothing better than a FaceTime call when everything gets too much.