Cyann Fielding | Content Writer
Homesickness whilst at university is a common feeling amongst students, but with a rather weird past year a new kind of homesickness has emerged: a homesickness for your university home. With many students unable to return to campus following the New Year, many feel as if they are missing out on their independence, missing their friends, and also their freedom. Whilst you may have come accustomed to living away from campus once again, there is still that slightly gut-wrenching feeling where you urge for the lifestyle of the pre-pandemic student you once were.
Having become familiar with the taste of independence, being away from it just is not the same. The future of a COVID free world may seem far away and you endlessly wonder when you will be able to have your student lifestyle back. Feeling anxious at the moment or even sad is completely normal, we all miss things from our pre-COVID lifestyles. But there are ways to tackle that feeling of sadness you have whilst not being in your uni house.
If you are at home with parents/guardians, why not make the most of it? Often when at home we have the opportunity to relax in the comfort of having those we love around us – this is exactly what we need right now. You may be missing your friends, but ask yourself, if you were in Egham right now, would you miss your family? Use this time to spend quality time with them, and if anything, they will look after you, ultimately meaning you may free up more time not cooking every night. Whilst they may not understand your current stresses, they will always be there for moral support.
Friends are your friends for a reason. Why not catch up with the via a Zoom party? In the current Lockdown we are restricted to very little human interaction, so this may be the best way to get a dose of that friendship love. Arrange something fun, this will help you to feel like you are at home with them and also have something to look forward to.
Independence and freedom are two big words when you become a university student. Initially they may have been daunting, but now you’ve learnt that having independence and freedom means cooking what you want, cleaning when you want… Staying in bed as late as you want. Being off campus does not mean these things have to disappear. Whilst it may seem impractical to always cook for yourself, why not suggest cooking a couple nights a week to family members? Make your bedroom your space – consider it as your flat, you can keep it as messy as you like or as clean as you want but define this as your space. Whilst you may not be able to recreate exactly the life you have at university; you can adapt to have the things you value from your university lifestyle the most. Sometimes the detail is in the little things, place plants on your desk, allow yourself a day to watching a Netflix series in bed, these simple things may really help to make you feel like you have your own space.
Lastly, try to remember things will get better. This pandemic may seem to have gone on for eternity and may feel like it will still go on for much longer, but everyone is in the same position. We are all bursting to live our lives without restrictions. And it will come back someday. For the meantime, the best advice is to take it one step at a time, to not be too critical on yourself, and to enjoy the time you have. This is a great time to focus on your uni work, develop skills that you have been meaning to for a while now and so on. Keep in contact with people, and book things in so you have things to look forward to. The wait will be worth the while. Before you know it Uni-homesickness will cease to exist as you sit in your bed, listening to your housemates having heated discussion about the dishes, as you tell Netflix ‘yes, I am still watching’.