Spending Christmas At Uni? Here's How To Deal With Being Homesick
Christmas is just a few weeks away, if you’re spending the holidays at uni whether it’s in student accommodation or within your student home, you may suffer from feelings of homesickness.
Feeling homesick at uni is very common, with tons of students feeling this way due to being away from family and friends.
Don’t worry, there are ways to deal with feeling homesick whilst at uni.
Within our guide we’ll be discussing the best tips for being away from family and friends and familiar things over the festive period, carry on reading to find out!
What Is Homesickness?
Homesickness involves feelings of distress, stress or anxiety and is associated with missing a certain place or a group of people, such as your family home.
For many students, they may experience feelings of homesickness throughout the academic year, but especially at Christmas time if they’re unable to go back home to see their family or friends.
Some reasons for being unable to go home for the holidays could be due to financial burdens of the cost of living crisis on top of being a student, or due to being an international student.
Whatever the reason for spending Christmas at uni and experiencing feelings of homesickness, there are things you can do to help combat these emotions.
How To Deal With Being Homesick At Christmas
Are you experiencing feeling homesick whilst being at uni for Christmas? Check out our top tips below.
1. Make Sure To Still Celebrate
If you’re missing home and experiencing negative feelings from being away from what you’re used to, you should still try to celebrate Christmas.
It’s all too easy to spend time moping around in your bedroom and feeling sorry for yourself, and whilst we’re not saying these feelings aren’t valid, you should try to make yourself feel ‘festive’ even if you’re not at home.
The holidays can still be wonderful even if you’re not spending them how you normally would.
So, try to make your student home as Christmassy and comforting as possible and celebrate how you can.
You also MUST still get yourself some prezzies if you can, it wouldn’t be the festive season without them – pssst a care package for yourself wouldn’t go amiss!
Get a little tree, some cute decor and any other bits and bobs which can provide the festive vibes and make you feel a little bit more homely.
You could also put up some pictures of your family and friends or home comforts if you haven’t already to make it feel a bit more like a safe space.
If you haven’t had a chance to decorate your student room, use this time off from uni to do so!
2. Spend Time With Others
If your flatmates or anyone within your student accommodation are staying for the occasion too, why not plan a celebration with them?
Whether it’s having a roast dinner, ordering in, having a baking session or a movie night – go out of your comfort zone!
Make the most of those who are in a similar position this Christmas and plan a celebration with them, just because you’re not at your family home doesn’t mean it can’t be special.
You could even plan in time to see people within your course or join groups online to see if anyone else is spending Christmas at uni, chances are, you won’t be the only one so reach out and make plans.
Whilst the festive season and the big day might not feel ‘the same’ as it would at home, you shouldn’t isolate yourself and spend the whole time off putting yourself down in the dumps for missing home and your family and friends.
You can still spend time with others and make memories this Christmas, be open to new experiences!
3. Connect With Family & Friends
Another way to help yourself if you’re feeling homesick at Christmas is to connect with family and friends.
Just because you cannot physically be with them, it doesn’t mean you can’t still experience the holidays together.
Whether it’s through video calls, social media or text messages, reach out to your family and friends at home and let them know you’re missing them.
Not only will this make you feel better if you’re feeling homesick, it could even help uplift their mood if they’re missing you and feeling a little stressed out or anxious about it.
Although, you could worsen your feelings of homesickness if you spend too much time contacting those from home.
Of course, speak to them if it makes you feel better, but try not to overdo contact if it’s having a negative impact on your mental health and making the distance feel worse.
4. Be Kind To Yourself
When homesickness hits, it can be hard to be kind to yourself and look after your mental health.
You should try not to beat yourself up about the way you’re feeling, it’s okay to miss home and feel stressed or anxious about being away from what you’re used to.
Try to be kind to yourself and maintain healthy habits over the festive period, even if it’s hard to do so.
Some important ways to be kind to yourself are to get enough sleep, practice self care, eat a well balanced diet, and get some exercise in.
Being run down and not looking after yourself can make negative feelings worsen, take some time to look out for yourself over the holidays and have that all important ‘me time’.
Remember, if you’re struggling with being away from home and your mental health is taking a toll, you won’t always feel this way.
Homesickness is common during the first few months of uni and especially at Christmas, these feelings will pass!
5. Beat Boredom
Keeping yourself busy can help with feeling homesick at Christmas.
Whilst a lot of students might be off campus the closer we get to the end of term, we’re sure there’ll still be activities and things to do over the busy period.
Get yourself involved with any events taking place at your university or uni city or town this December.
Boredom can really make homesickness worse, as if you don’t have much to do, you have more time to concentrate on missing home.
So, it’s worth trying to build on your interests and keep your days busy whether it’s watching Christmas films, playing your favourite games, sending Christmas Cards or doing something creative like wreath building!
Christmas Day may be a different story with lots of places being closed.
However, you can still keep yourself busy and preoccupied by doing nice activities at home, or you can go for a nice walk outdoors.
There may even be some community activities taking place on the 25th if you are going to be alone, it’s worth looking into what’s going on in your area.
Being alone doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself feel good, you moved to uni for new experiences after all.
6. Explore Your City Or Town
The Christmas period is magical no matter where you’re based in the UK, every city or town is lit up with lights, the streets are bursting with holiday cheer and there are tons of things to do.
Use this time off from uni to explore your new environment, you’ve probably not had too much time due to your uni schedule so make the most of it.
Act like a tourist and experience the festive cheer of your uni city or town whether it’s going to the Christmas Markets, going ice skating, watching a panto or even experiencing the cultural and historical attractions.
Try taking part in Christmas where you live, as the more you experience new things the more familiar and homelike it will feel!
7. Ask For Help
Spending Christmas at uni might feel like a terrible struggle, and if you are feeling homesick then that’s okay.
It’s common to feel this way so don’t be ashamed if you are feeling sad, anxious, stressed or even physically unwell because of homesickness.
Although, the worst thing you can do is to not get anything off your chest and struggle in silence, there are people you can go to if your mental health is taking a toll this Christmas.
You can speak to someone you trust like a family member, close friend, or even make an appointment with a GP or a counsellor at university.
Your support network will be there for you, so reach out and ask for some help if you need it – Christmas is a time of giving after all!
Feeling homesick is a normal part of university life and is experienced by a lot of students, especially during the holidays.
Christmas may make homesick feelings harder to deal with, but you’re not alone and hopefully with these tips you can help ease your emotions.
Embrace your current situation and try to enjoy the holiday season the best you can!