Tsvetina, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing placement student, shares tips on coping with homesickness…
Staying at Cardiff over the holidays is an option that a lot of students go for due to a number of reasons. If you are one of those folks that happen to be here for the winter recess please rest assured that it is normal to feel a bit off-balance as suddenly lectures are gone and so are some of your mates who are off home.
Most people engage with family-oriented activities during this period which is why we often feel that bond with our family even more. If we are far away from home it’s normal to feel a little bit moody or low which could be originating from the feeling of homesickness. Being aware of the fluctuations of your mood and admitting to yourself that you miss home if that is the case is the first step of combatting homesickness.
Here are several tips that can help you cope with homesickness this winter:
1. Stay in touch
Keeping contact with friends and family is essential during a tricky time like this. You can use Skype, Facebook messenger or any other social media tool that allows you to text, talk or video chat. Think about people who love you and care for you and try to arrange a time that suits both sides in order to communicate with them. Exchange photos of your environments and organise a lot of video calls with your family to feel a little bit closer to them.
2. Talk to people
Be the first one to message that high school mate that you haven’t heard of since coming to uni. Try and find out who else is staying at Cardiff and don’t be shy to ask them to go out for a coffee, you never know if somebody is feeling in the same way as you are! GPs, Student Support Staff, Tutors and Chaplains are also there for you if you want to talk. Don’t be afraid to voice your worries before the problem grows larger!
3. Keep an open mind
Sometimes when we miss something we idealise it and just ignore everything else that is out there. Don’t fall into thinking that the place that you are currently at is not good just because it is not your home! Cardiff is a wonderful city that offers great places to go to and things to do. You can also have a look at Victoria’s post about things to do during the Christmas break for some ideas!
4. Plan your break
Leaving yourself too much time to over think things and agonize even more is not usually a great way of spending your holiday. As it comes from keeping an open mind, planning your break so that you have a clear idea of what you are going to be doing is a great way to keep your mind off homesickness. You will probably have some coursework due or exams to study for anyway so why not try to create a schedule for yourself: leave some time for studying in the day and for doing something you enjoy. Try and think of as varied as possible activities that you can so that you fully enjoy that recess!
5. Look after yourself
After all those recommendations please don’t get lost in following what you think you are expected to do in your holiday time. At the end of the day that is a time for you to relax and have a break from studies as well. Think about all those times that you were so busy with uni work and thought you could be doing something completely different if you had the time. Well, you are going to have the time so why not spend some quality time with yourself while having your favourite meal, watching TV series you like or decorate your room?
6. Make yourself at home
Think about the things that make you feel comfortable and get that ‘homely’ feel in the house! Buy things for the house like flowers or pillows that you can place on the sofas to make them more comfy. Turn to your family and friends about things you could do that would be similar to what you would do there like cooking something in particular or decorating in certain way.
7. Remind yourself
Remember all of those reasons that made you come to Cardiff University. Remind yourself of why you are going through this and perhaps how proud you are going to make all of the people you love. Be aware of the personal achievement that you are making by living on your own and keeping all responsibilities to yourself. Appreciate all of those things and soon you will start seeing more positive aspects of staying away from home!
You can also have a look at Natalie’s wonderful post on combatting homesickness to learn about the symptoms of homesickness and more tips on tackling it.
Staying here over Christmas?
If you’re staying here over the festive period, read our 12 blogs of Christmas covering everything from homesickness to things to do. Follow us on twitter and like us on facebook for even more.
The Student Support Centres are open right up until Friday 23rd December, so please contact them if you need anything at all. The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.
Your feedback and help please
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I hope you have found this helpful and I wish you a joyful winter break!
Tsvetina, Placement Student
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