As a start, I would like to congratulate anyone who got into Plymouth University! I hope that whatever you study, your journey through university will go amazingly well!
I would like to touch on a subject which may affect most of us at university: HOMESICKNESS.
As I have just finished my 1st year and am about to go into my 2nd year of uni, homesickness isn’t a myth, as some may think. As I live in London, which is a 5hr30min journey by coach, going home is a bit harder. Train tickets are expensive and making time to go home for a weekend must be planned. It takes an extra hour or so from Victoria Coach Station in London to go home so a total of 6hr30mins. Compare this time to a Eurostar train ride from London to Paris, which takes on average 2hr15mins.
Dealing with homesickness at first was quite hard. The first few weeks of university were great. I found that I would go out with my friends quite a bit, and being caught up with my course was good too. However, soon everything started to slow down a bit, and by the start of October I started to feel homesick. I didn’t know why I felt upset all the time and I found everything a bit harder. To cope, I found that surrounding myself with my friends helped A LOT.
There was something always there for me to do to keep myself busy, whether that be a TV show on my laptop or watching a movie or even going to open mic at the SU on a Thursday night with friends (with a pint, is always fab). Anything that kept me from being alone till near the end of October when I went home for my brother’s birthday weekend. I found a change when I came back to Plymouth after that weekend. I enjoyed being at university a lot more and the homesickness feeling wasn’t there at all.
Some advice I would give to anyone who lives far from home:
Take the time to talk to your parents
You leaving is just as hard as for them. Catching up with the Indian TV Soap dramas with my mum and what university life is like with my either on the phone or Skype would give me relief of not feeling homesick while being at uni.
Other people important to you
My cousin and close friends back in London are people that I talk to on the regular. They understand me better and any advice they would give would be for my benefit. Anyone you can talk to freely and help you out in a sticky situation is a keeper.
Keep yourself busy
Like I have said before, I kept myself busy. Even though it is not a long-term solution, it can get you to try something new... I’ve heard joining clubs or societies are always a good shout as they have socials and activities every so often.
Whenever the homesickness may strike, having a good group of friends at uni, who are there to support you as a person, I have found can help you get through anything.