Health and Wellbeing

Christmas Survival Guide Part 2 – Top tips for combatting homesickness

Having to spend the Christmas holidays at university can be hard, especially if you are usually at home with family. Our 6 part Christmas Survival Guide should help you to banish those winter blues and make the most of festive period, ensuring it’s a time filled with fun, love and support…

Being at University over the holidays provides you plenty of opportunities to try something new, but you may still feel homesick every now and then. This is completely normal and expected – many festive activities are family-oriented, which makes being away from your loves ones especially difficult at this time of year. When things get too much for you, try these simple tips to reduce homesickness!

Skype/FaceTime/video call

This is probably the easiest and quickest way of contacting friends and family. If you are feeling homesick and missing your loved ones organise a skype session. Skype is great as you can speak and see your loved ones directly. You could even Skype them while cooking your dinner to keep you entertained.  Another option if you own an apple product is the FaceTime app, which you can use to video call loved ones. Do keep in mind that both you and the person you are calling must own an apple product and be using the FaceTime app. Another easy but not as popular way to video call people is through Facebook. Once you open a messenger chat with someone, there should be a small video camera icon, if you click this it should connect you. Again, bear in the mind the person you are trying to call must be logged into Facebook and have a camera on the device they are using.


Meet others/invite people over

Chances are if you are spending Christmas at university so are plenty of other people. Ask around, don’t assume everyone is going home, or some individuals may only be going home for a short period of time. Once you know who may be around, ask them over for some food or a festive film (how about elf). You can also chat to others online, The Student Room has threads for people who stay at their university over Christmas, where you can connect with others in the same situation as you and maybe even meet people who are in Cardiff over the festive period. And,  the University Chaplaincy is holding a Christmas Day Lunch at Newman Hall for students who won’t be going away on Christmas Day. Please email Father Jones if you would like to join them for lunch, email: – for more information about the Chaplaincy like and follow them on Facebook  and  Twitter.



Take Pictures

This is a great way to share the festive period with the ones you love. Even if it’s just a few photos of some of the festive activities you have been doing, see Survival Guide Part 1 , or of you and some friends enjoying some mulled wine. The photos you receive back from family will make you feel closer to home and like you aren’t missing out. You could also save and print them, unlike a Skype call, so you can look at them whenever you are missing home. A great way to easily share pictures with many friends and family members is Instagram, which is free to download on any iPhone or android phone. Or if you like, you can always simply email your photos.


Help others

Helping others at Christmas is a great way to spend your time as it boosts your self-esteem as well as allowing you to give something back to those less fortunate than yourself. The Salvation Army always needs help handing food out to the homeless, or alternatively you could buy a cheap scarf from somewhere like Primark and keep it in your bag to give to someone who needs it. Although it may be too late to get involved this year, bear Operation Christmas Child in mind for next year – it allows you to donate a shoebox full of Christmas gifts to a child who may not otherwise get any presents.


Related post: 20 tips for dealing with Homesickness


Even more information and  ideas for you

We hope this blog post has been helpful; please see our other blogs for more information.

  • Activities and things to do over the holidays – Christmas Survival Guide Part 1
  • Festive Recipes – Christmas Survival Guide Part 3
  • Top tips for staying healthy and positive over the holidays – Christmas Survival Guide Part 4
  • The mobile apps you need this holiday – Christmas Survival Guide Part 5
  • Need someone to talk to? – Christmas Survival Guide Part 6


Season’s greetings

Annie, Student Intern


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The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath ParkCampus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.




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