Feeling homesick? Feeling a bit down, missing your friends and family, or not sure if your course or Manchester were the right choice for you? First of all, don’t worry, these feelings are perfectly normal as the excitement of Welcome Week fades away and the reality of daily life at uni creeps up on you. University is a huge adjustment period for everyone; for most students it’s the first time they’re living independently, so you’re constantly learning all the boring things in life such as how to pay bills, cook your own meals and do your washing. It’s also probably the first time you’ve been away from your friends, family and home town for an extended period. So not only are you far from what you know, you don’t have your close pals to support you either.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Firstly, pat yourself on the back for taking the plunge and moving to Manchester. Whether you’re an Oldham native from just down the road or hail from the Orkney Islands, or even from a different country entirely, it’s a big step and you should be proud of yourself for taking it. You will start feeling at home here eventually, and here are our top tips to help you on your way:
- Learn how to cook your favourite comfort food: ring up your Mum and ask her she gets her spag bol so tomato-y, or find out how to make extra cheesey mac & cheese, or perfect your baked potatoes. Eating healthy, delicious food will instantly make you feel better.
- Perk up your bedroom: Uni halls may not be the most glamorous of places to live but they’re a great way to meet friends. There are lots of simple things you can do to make your room feel more homely: cushions, blankets and fairy lights make any room cosy and inviting. And don’t forget lots of photos of your friends and family!
- Try something new: University is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills so sign up to some societies or join a sports team. You could write for The Mancunion, represent the university at fencing or if there’s nothing that takes your fancy, start your own society!
- Keep busy: Being at university comes with lots of new found freedom which is great, but the novelty of lying in bed all day watching Friends re-runs will end eventually. Going to all your lectures, meeting up with new friends for a coffee and going to society meetings will help both your grades and your wellbeing.
- Have an open mind: Maybe you weren’t a sporty person at school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join a team now. Or maybe your new pal from your course seems nice, but just isn’t as hilarious as your best friend from back home. It takes time to get to know people, and the more you put in to your uni experience the more you will get out of it.
- Try not to visit home too often: Going home every weekend can actually make you feel more homesick. Try and get friends and family to visit you instead otherwise you might feel like you’ve missed out on things at university later on.
- Wellbeing Week: Wellbeing Week will take place between 10th-14th November and there are lots of events and activities planned in the iZone, Atrium and Students Union to help you be active, calm and healthy. You can try exercise classes, come for a coffee morning, learn some mindfulness techniques and maybe meet some like-minded new friends too!
If you are struggling with prolonged homesickness or feelings of anxiety speak to the Student Support Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org) at The Atrium, 1st floor University Place or Counselling service (email@example.com) who will be able to support you through your transition to university.