Health and wellbeing
Feeling homesick when you're at university is a very common experience – even if you also have positive feelings about the experience – and the strength of the feelings can take some of us by surprise. Homesickness may be accompanied by loneliness, or you may feel lonely for reasons other than homesickness.
For some, homesickness fades as you gradually settle in and become more familiar with university life. However, if you are feeling homesick or lonely, there are lots of things that you can do to help yourself manage and there's lots of support available.
It's always advisable to let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies – they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support.
Try to make use of the events and activities organised by your department, halls staff and the Students' Union in order to get more familiar with things and meet others – there will be lots of other students also feeling homesick and lonely, even if it isn't obvious.
Do call on any support networks available to you, and let people know how you are feeling. Consult your GP if you are feeling persistently low, or if your difficulties are significantly affecting your daily functioning.
The University library has copies of the following books which could be useful:
- Butler, G - Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness - 616.852250651/BUT
- Forsyth, JP & Eifert, GH - The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety - 616.8914/FOR
- Harris, R - The Confidence Gap - 150.198/HAR
- Jeffers, S - Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - 158.2/JEF
If you would like to research more around the topic of homesickness and loneliness, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self-help resources:
Useful tips for new students on coping with homesickness.
MIND leaflet that describes loneliness and its causes, and ways it can be overcome.
CBT Self-help workbooks
From a well-regarded Australian site, these popular downloadable CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) workbooks provide clear, easy to read information along with short exercises and activities to learn and apply skills for tackling common issues. Many students have found these materials helpful. Choose from:
- Improving self-esteem for building confidence
- Shy no longer for coping with social anxiety
- What me? Worry? for mastering generalised anxiety
- Assert yourself for developing communication skills
This page links to a series of excellent booklets providing information and self-help activities to learn skills for common issues like shyness and social anxiety, as well as stress, anxiety, and sleep.
Shyness and Social Phobia
Royal College of Psychiatrists leaflet for anyone who finds shyness a problem, or who suffers from a social phobia, focusing on types of social anxiety, ways in which life can be affected, possible causes and maintenance, and ways forward, including self-help, psychological and medical treatments.
Mental Health Foundation Wellbeing Podcasts and Videos
Free downloadable audio podcasts to help you relax, sleep and improve your general sense of wellbeing. They're designed to fit around your lifestyle and provide an introduction to the skills and techniques that can help you live a mentally healthier life.