Homesickness at University
Scarlett Parr Reid, print science editor discusses her previous experiences struggling with homesickness.
University is the best time of your life. University is about meeting new people. University expands your horizons. That’s what multiple sources told me prior to attending university. I didn’t doubt those things and today believe them; they’ve been my reality on reflection. But what’s discussed less among sixth formers, college students and parents is that whilst being in a new city with different people is exciting and adventurous, it can also be startlingly unfamiliar.
The change seeps in. A small part of you wonders if actually being at home where your family, friends, comforts and – in my case sheltered upbringing – exist, is something you miss more than you tell yourself is true.
I wanted to be close to those who’d made me feel loved.
I told myself I don’t get homesick, so I’ll be fine. It’s a long time, but I can just call my family. True. But former me forgot how attached, emotionally invested in and comfortable around my family I had been. I wanted to give my dad a hug. I wanted to sit in my brother’s room and chat for hours. I wanted to be close to those who’d made me feel loved. I wanted their company and felt lonely for a few months even in the company of my uni friends and housemates.
But people can be in your life without seeing you every day like when living at home. I realised I could see my family regularly without becoming anxious about when I’d see them next. I could call them and ask about their day without standing right next to them. I could feel at home in a new place, fairy lights and all. And I don’t need to feel FOMO or that my house was going to grow legs and run away because I’d moved to uni.
I could feel at home in a new place, fairy lights and all.
The anxiety began to fade as I saw that I wasn’t the only one and that we are all making a fresh home elsewhere, even if it’s temporary. I can say now, it’s the people not the place that get you through.