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Advice for StudentsCardiff University ExperiencesLiving away from homePostgraduate StudyStudent LifeTop Tips

Heartfelt Connections: Conquering Homesickness in Cardiff

8 November 2023
Published on March 22, 2017 by Harmen Jelle van Mourik under the Unsplash License
Published on March 22, 2017 by Harmen Jelle van Mourik under the Unsplash License

When I’m in my room at Cardiff University, I sometimes feel a bit homesick and miss my hometown. I miss my friends’ laughter and the smell of home-cooked meals. But don’t worry, if you’re feeling the same, it’s totally normal! A lot of university students feel this way from time to time. Let’s get through this together and find ways to grow and connect even when we’re missing home.

Embracing the Emotion

Homesickness, simply put, is the emotional distress that arises from being away from home. It’s a sentiment that transcends cultural boundaries and affects students worldwide, especially if this is your first venture away from the familiar embrace of home. The symptoms may manifest differently for each of us, but a common thread is the longing for the people, places, and experiences we hold dear.

Stay Busy, Stay Happy

One effective strategy to combat homesickness is to stay busy. Planning your week and engaging in various activities can divert your mind from thoughts of home. Attend Fresher’s Fairs, explore the University’s calendar of events, and embrace the opportunities to meet new people. Remember, the more you engage with your new environment, the less space homesickness will occupy in your thoughts.

Reach Out and Connect

The tendency to retreat to the safety of our rooms when feeling homesick is common. However, breaking this cycle by spending time in social spaces allows for interactions that can significantly uplift your spirits. Reach out to housemates, friends, and fellow students. Sharing your feelings not only lightens the emotional load but also opens the door to discovering that others may be experiencing similar sentiments.

Make Cardiff Your Home

Transforming your living space into a comforting haven can be a powerful antidote to homesickness. Personalise your room with familiar items, whether it’s cherished photographs, posters, or the aroma of home-cooked meals. Cooking your favorite dish from home not only satisfies your taste buds but also turns your residence into a welcoming sanctuary.

Discovering Your Second Home

Familiarity breeds comfort. Take the time to explore Cardiff, unraveling its streets, parks, and cultural treasures. Understanding the city and its nuances can shift your perspective, allowing you to see it not as a temporary dwelling but as a second home—a place where new memories and experiences await.

Bridging the Gap

While staying connected with loved ones back home is essential, it’s equally crucial to build new connections in your current surroundings. Strike a balance between maintaining relationships from afar and immersing yourself in the present. Encourage friends to visit, make plans to explore Cardiff together, and cherish the bonds that form in this new chapter of your life.

Be Kind to Yourself

Amidst the hustle of university life and the occasional wave of homesickness, it’s crucial to be kind to yourself. Understand that it’s okay to feel this way and that adjusting to a new environment takes time. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend facing a similar situation. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s a favorite hobby, a soothing walk, or a moment of quiet reflection. Cultivating self-compassion can be a powerful antidote to the emotional challenges of being away from home.

The Role of Diet in Emotional Well-Being

What we eat has a profound impact on our mood and overall well-being. In times of homesickness, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet becomes especially important. Comfort foods from home can provide a sense of familiarity and warmth. Additionally, ensure you’re incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals. A well-nourished body contributes not only to physical health but also to emotional resilience.

Prioritize Quality Sleep

Quality sleep is often underestimated in its ability to influence our emotional state. The upheaval of adjusting to a new environment can sometimes disrupt sleep patterns. Establishing a bedtime routine and creating a sleep-conducive environment can significantly improve the quality of your rest. A well-rested mind is better equipped to handle the challenges of homesickness, promoting emotional stability and a positive outlook.

Published on February 27, 2022 by Farah Almazouni under the Unsplash License

Homesickness is a common experience during our university years. However, it can be both a challenge and an opportunity for growth. As we journey together at Cardiff University, let us remember that homesickness is not an obstacle but a bridge between our past and the future. By staying active, connecting with others, and embracing both old and new experiences, we can not only overcome homesickness but also create a tapestry of memories that will make Cardiff feel like a home away from home.