I’m only one week into my first year at UBC and I already want to go home. I miss my family so much. I don’t want to talk to my friends about this because none of them seem to be homesick. What should I do?
What do registering for an 8 a.m. class thinking (incorrectly) that you’ll wake up early, buying Blue Chip cookies after failing a midterm and being homesick all have in common? They’re a part of the university experience.
Homesickness is normal even though it does suck. And boy does it suck. A lot.
But your resident advice columnist, Iman (that’s me!) has three fun, fresh and funky steps to kick your homesickness to the curb.
Creating a community
The best way I found to combat my homesickness was to create a community. That can be a mission and a half, but going to classes, getting involved in student associations and clubs or even heading down to chat with the folks at The Ubyssey can make you feel better.
Of course, I’m not saying to completely ignore your inner turmoil, but I’m saying that meeting new people and having new experiences is exciting, and it can soften the blow.
Spending time with friends that you already have is also important and can work wonders. I know you don’t want to talk to your friends about being homesick — but I can almost (key word: almost) guarantee that your friends feel the same way.
Set the precedent for talking about your feelings. The worst that could happen is that your friends listen and offer their support. The best that could happen is that you realize that you’re all in the same boat.
Even though this might seem counterintuitive, talking to your family and friends from home can help you ease your transition back into campus life and put your homesickness to rest.
Being able to chat it up with your loved ones is nice — not only because you get to keep up with the fun and exciting new things happening in their lives, but also because you get to spend some ‘face-to-face’ time with them.
I try to call my family every other day. I know that for many students that might feel like way too much or not at all enough, but finding a time to sit down and talk to my favourite people always makes me feel a little better about being far away from home.
Alright. Take it easy!
My last tip is to take it easy (insert TikTok reference here). It might feel embarrassing to miss home, but you can’t be hard on yourself for it.
It’s a natural thing to miss home, especially after spending the last 18 (give or take) years with your family.
Taking it easy and giving yourself permission to be sad and to communicate with those around you about your sadness is integral to making sure you take care of yourself while being away from those who usually take care of you.
The Bottom Line
Homesickness sucks and it’s bound to happen, but creating a community, having some face-to-face time with your loved ones and being kind to yourself can make it hurt a little less.
It’s important to remember that homesickness isn’t forever, though it may feel like it — sooner or later, you’ll be feeling better.
You’re doing great. Keep it up!
Need advice? Send your questions, queries or problems to email@example.com, or submit anonymously at ubyssey.ca/advice!