11 ways to cope with moving away from home

So, you’ve confirmed a place at your dream university, you’ve packed up your belongings, and your parents have dropped you off in your new city. To help you in the right direction, we've put together our top tips for coping with moving away from home.
11 ways to cope with moving away from home
Published on: 16 Oct 2023
Don’t feel guilty if you miss home

Feelings of homesickness can be confusing – especially if you were really excited about starting university. But remember that these feelings can stem from a range of worries, from missing your friends back home to being nervous about your uni course or being afraid you won’t fit in. That’s a lot to get your head around!

The majority of former students will say that university was the best time of their lives – but that doesn’t mean they didn’t feel homesick occasionally! Don’t put extra pressure on yourself by feeling guilty or embarrassed, or comparing yourself to others.

And remember that 70% statistic? It’s highly likely that the people around you are going through the same thing. Which brings us to our next tip…

Get talking

If you're feeling homesick, don’t shut yourself away – reach out and tell your new friends or flatmates how you're feeling. Remember that you’re not the only newbie, and it can be comforting to hear how others are feeling. Opening up to your flatmates will also help cement your budding friendships as you support each other.

At Sanctuary Students, our halls have common areas and we also run regular events, making it easy to meet your flatmates and help you settle in. And you could even keep your door propped open when you’re in your room – as it may encourage your new housemates to pop their heads in and say hi.

Try new things

As well as introducing yourself to new people, don't be afraid to try new things. By getting involved with university societies, clubs and sports teams, it will help you settle in and make new friends with similar interests – and it should also distract you from thinking about home. Most universities are still running freshers fayres in 2020, either outside or virtually, so dive in and find the perfect club for you!

Go exploring

Homesickness often stems from being in unfamiliar surroundings, so get out there and make your new city or town “familiar”! Exploring your uni town or city will help you overcome your homesickness, and is also a great way to bond with your housemates if you go together. For inspiration on where to explore in your university town, view our range of city guides.

Make plans back home

Having something to look forward to back home might help with the move – especially if you’re feeling isolated. Put some get-togethers with friends and family in your diary before you leave – but try not to go back too soon, as it could make your homesickness worse. Give yourself time to settle in first, and remember that the first few weeks of uni are the best time to meet new people!

Remember why you’re there

Remind yourself of the reasons you decided to go to university. Remember all the research and preparation you did – finding the perfect uni, a brilliant course and, of course, your amazing Sanctuary Students accommodation! Think of all the times you imagined yourself walking to campus with your new friends and all the societies you wanted to join.

But make sure you’re being realistic with your expectations about student life. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: DO NOT compare yourself to other people!

Know when to seek support

If you have tried the above tips and your feelings haven’t improved, it’s important you don’t suffer in silence – talk it through with someone. Whether it’s a friend, family member, your GP or university tutor, sharing your feelings will help.

There are plenty of avenues of support you can turn to, including our Student Advice Line from our partners at Health Assured. At Sanctuary Students, your health is our priority and that’s why we offer professional support to help you with any problems you may face from stress and depression to financial issues and coping. The phone line is open day and night, 365 days a year and everything you discuss is kept confidential so there’s nothing to worry about. Call the freephone number on 0800 030 5182 – we are here as often as you need us for as long as you like.