Hi guys! Hope you’ve had a great start to May and a great start to a new week.
I recently made a post about some of the things that are important once you come to Uni and become a more independent young adult (click here to see that post). There was a lot I could talk about, so I couldn’t fit it in one post, but here’s another post where I’ll focus on such things! I’ve chosen to discuss more personal issues you might come across at Uni in this post, but there will be further posts on this topic in the coming weeks!
Sadly this can happen at any moment at Uni, and was especially prominent in Freshers’ Week for me. I have never been away from my home and family (including my dogs and cats!) for more than a week, so upon moving in to my accommodation and spending more than a week living independently I got quite homesick. I still occasionally have times when I get homesick even now, 8 months on, but this is totally natural, especially if you have a close-knit family.
Although it’s not the most pleasant of feelings, there are many things you can do to combat homesickness:
- Lean on your friends: once you’ve made friends with your flatmates, coursemates or anyone you meet in September (read my tips on making friends here), talk to them! If you’re feeling homesick, they probably know the same feeling. After all, you’re all in the same boat. They can hang out with you and help cheer you up. So don’t be afraid to say when you’re a little down about missing home! Strength comes in numbers.
- Skype/phone your family: of course, when you’re homesick you’d rather have your family with you in person, but hearing their voices or seeing them really helps. You could make this a regular thing, maybe phone your parents every weekend or two if that helps you.
- Speak to the support team at the Uni: the University has a great support system for students who are feeling homesick. The Health and Wellbeing team (click here to see their webpage) are located on campus and are there for any issues surrounding your wellbeing, so if you’re feeling especially bad, talking to them might help you. They might give you more tips on how you can feel less homesick too. If it gets really bad, there is also a counselling service which operates both on a requested appointment and drop-in basis (click here to see a webpage on the Milton House councilling team).
Dealing with living in Shared Accommodation
Although many Graduates talk about how living in University Halls was an experience they wouldn’t have wanted to miss, living in shared accommodation has it’s highs and lows. Firstly, it’s unlikely you’ll be in accommodation with someone you already know. On the one hand this is great, I’ve made some friends for life despite worrying about making any friends at all. However, on some occasions there are going to be people that you don’t click with as well. My biggest tip for situations with people in your accommodation that are maybe causing issues is to just keep your space from them. Of course, you’re living in the same building, but if you just keep to yourself and say hello when they’re in the communal areas with you and be polite you should both be able to come to a happy place within the accommodation. If this isn’t working, or if you are having further issues, maybe speak to them in person and discuss what it is that isn’t going right between you. As long as you stay polite and considerate of their situation then you shouldn’t have any major issues with the people in your flat.
Any other issues, more of the serious kind, within your accommodation can be solved by firstly speaking to your Student Assistant. Each type of accommodation has a Student Assistant, a 2nd or 3rd year student that works in co-ordination with the University support staff to ensure that any issues are dealt with appropriately and swiftly. SA’s are brilliant when you’re having issues within your flat, as they are in a similar position to you and can sometimes speak to you on maybe a more personal level than a member of staff, as they are someone you are living with/near too. If your issue is not resolved by your SA, you can speak to the Campus Life staff, who will usually take a more formal approach to solving the issue but are there for more serious issues if you need them. So there’s the support system there if you do come across any issues!
Victoria Loftus recently posted a great blog on Shared Accommodation which you can read here:
I hope you all find this information helpful! These are only 2 of the topics I could speak about, but I will be posting more on independent life in the coming weeks so keep your eye out! Hope you have a wonderful afternoon 🙂