5 Ways to Cope When You are Missing Home

31 August 2021

Studying away from home can be complicated. While the experience of studying at university in a new city is exhilarating, it can also be extremely challenging when homesickness sets in. Whether you’ve only recently arrived in South-East Queensland or have been here for some time, it is normal to have moments of sadness when you think of your family, friends, and the comforts of home.

Homesickness is a natural part of life. It is a reminder of the things you love and care about, a reminder that you’re out of your comfort zone - and that’s okay. When you feel that ache, remember that it happens to all of us. You’re not alone. Homesickness doesn’t have to dampen your experience at university.

Here are 5 helpful ways to cope with homesickness, so you can embrace both the highs and lows that come with studying away from home.

1. Embrace homesickness.

Being homesick is hard, but it happens to the best of us. You don’t have to feel guilty about missing home. Sometimes, the best way to get over homesickness is to let yourself feel it. Give yourself 24 hours to embrace those feelings of discomfort before moving on. Cook yourself a comfort meal, listen to music from home, and call your friends or family to catch up with familiar faces. After one day of indulging in the comforts of home, get up and go explore your new city with friends you met in class last week.

2. Give yourself a social media break.

Have you ever felt time slip away from you as you mindlessly scroll through your Instagram feed? It happens, but letting yourself get sucked into the world inside your phone is one of the biggest triggers for homesickness. Whether you’re aware of it or not, social media often has you comparing yourself to other people and keeping tabs on family and friends, causing you to feel lonelier. Instead, turn off your phone, take a social media detox, and breathe in the present moment.

3. Keep yourself busy.

Homesickness tends to creep up on us when we’re feeling bored. Instead of spending time in front of the TV or wallowing in your bedroom, make yourself a schedule and fill your time with plenty of fun to keep you busy. Create a routine that includes exercise, healthy eating, studying, socialising, and anything else that brings a smile to your face. Join a club, volunteer, or sign up for other activities on and off campus to combat boredom.

4. Spend time with friends - new or old.

The more you connect with the community around you, the more your new home will feel like… well, home. Instead of spending all of your free time socialising with friends far away, make an effort to grow friendships with those at university with you. If you haven’t met many new people yet, joining clubs and getting involved on campus can help you connect with other students. You may find that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone could be the beginning of new lifelong friends.

5. Do one nice thing for yourself every day.

Treat yourself. It’s called self-care. Whether that’s going for a run, exploring the city, checking out a new lunch spot, or spending time in nature, it’s important to prioritise the things that make you happy. The more you spend time doing the things you love, the happier you will feel each day, and the easier it will be to connect with friends and settle in at university. 

Want to learn more about how to combat homesickness while studying at UQ? Book in to see an adviser today to help you on your journey to settling into university.