For the majority of us, going to university is the first time where we will be moving away from home for an extended period of time. I think we can all agree to the fact that it can be a bit daunting at first! One of my biggest fears was about missing my family and the comfort I had at home. I will share with you some tips that helped me deal with these thoughts at university.
If you are feeling anxious, talk about it!
It is completely normal to feel a bit stressed at the idea of being left alone, in a completely new environment! But the first thing to bear in mind is that you are not alone in this. There are thousands of students at LSE that are in the exact same situation as you, and it does help to talk about what is on your mind with friends. You will see, as soon as you start to open up to people, they will also feel more at ease talking about their issues. And it will make you feel better knowing that you are not alone in this.
What also helped me was talking about what stressed me with my parents prior to my departure to London. I was, for example, scared of having no one to go to in case I would feel sick or unwell. We went through each of these scenarios with my mom and found solutions to them. Once I arrived in London, I already felt a bit better, knowing that even in the unlikely chance things might not go well, there would always be a solution to my problems.
Do not refrain from calling your parents whenever you need to
The first few weeks in London, it is easy to feel a bit lonely, even if you have already made some friends. In my case, especially when I was alone in my room, I would sometimes start to miss my family. This might seem an obvious tip, but do not hesitate to call your parents or friends from home whenever you feel like that! Do not be scared to disturb or annoy people when you call them, as they miss you as much as you miss them. And it will make you feel way better. Even as a second year student, I continue to call my parents several times a week!
Learn to appreciate your own company
This might be the trickiest bit. At university, homesickness usually kicks in when you are on your own. And you cannot be with people all the time! It is a weird adjustment to being at school, where you are surrounded by people the entire day. Try to take yourself on nice solo dates, and actively schedule time for yourself. For example, I like to go on walks, listening to a podcast, and drink coffee in a park. You can also discover London on your own, such as the beautiful art museums London has to offer! The more actively you do things for yourself, the more you will learn to appreciate your own company, and this does help to cope with homesickness. The only person you will be with your entire life is yourself, so learn to appreciate your own company!
Structure your day, and make plans
This is my last tip, and also one of the most important ones. I have found that I feel better with myself and more in control when I am busy and roughly know how my tomorrow will look like. This is another big adjustment of being at university in comparison to school, because you have so much free time! I suggest doing a to-do list of everything you want to achieve every evening for the next day. Do not forget to plan social activities, as well as at least one thing you enjoy. This might be as small as reading a book you like or going grocery shopping, but having something to look forward to is very important to feel good.
It can also help to have a short or long term goal that you are aspiring to, such as participating in a marathon, doing a dance show or finding an internship. This will take your mind away from missing home and keep you occupied.
Finally, take your time, and be gentle with yourself! Homesickness might accompany you during your studies, more for some than for others. It is completely normal, and will pass at some point! Being at university is a great experience. However, if you feel like it disturbs you too much and you need some extra help, do not hesitate to contact the LSE wellbeing and counselling services, who will be able to give you some tailored advice. You got this 😉