Let’s be honest, when it comes to topics like how to battle homesickness, you would really prefer the writer to be experiencing it at the present moment, as he or she is writing this article. Not a second year or third year senior who writes from the perspective of ‘what I can remember when I was a homesick first year’. Secondly, I am a fresher, an international student from Singapore so yes; homesickness is still a very fresh and a sore reminder. Now, if I have your attention, here’s some tips to battle homesickness:
Yes, it’s nerdy and makes you look like you don’t have a social life. These things happen when your friends have different seminar times from you, others may be from an entirely different degree major! This is the hard truth! Breathe in that aromatic coffee smell and get started on that assignment early or make notes for an upcoming exam this semester. Trust me, by the time you finish researching for materials or finally figure out what genetics is really about, a good part of the afternoon would have rolled by.
2. Make plans for the upcoming holidays
Who is happy that Christmas is coming? I know I am! I’m going home! Therefore, much time is spent on researching which Coach or Rail Company is more value for money so that I can reach London in the quickest time possible. But for those who are going to enjoy a white Christmas in Newcastle, you can visit the Christmas markets, catch a pantomime or plan a trip to London to join in the festivities.
3. Engage in some recreational activities
Watching Korean dramas is my personal favourite whenever I feel weepy. For you, it could be snuggling up on your sofa with a good book. If you are the outdoorsy type, you could always take a walking tour around Newcastle, pop into a café and people-watch.
4. Gather a few friends over to your flat
You probably wouldn’t know many people yet, unless you are the extremely outgoing type who gets invited to flat parties every night. Having a few new friends over is the beginning of a blossoming friendship, chatting over the kitchen table with a lemon drizzle cake and a bag of crisps gives off a very homely vibe.
5. Reach out to family and friends back home
Don’t forget your support system back at home; keep in contact regularly, but not 24/7, of course! You need your space to grow and adapt to the new surroundings. Being overly clingy could backfire drastically; you might end up flying home immediately. Instead send loads of photos to make them envious! However, there is nothing wrong with chatting with a friend in Swansea until the early hours of the morning.
There is no secret formula to erase or cure homesickness; it sneaks up on you and lingers for days so all you can do is learn to cope with it. Nobody ever said that it was easy and it’s a case of letting nature take its course when it comes to adapting, so take as much time as you need. Give thanks for every happy moment and remember: you are not alone.