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What to do if you’re feeling homesick

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Here at Manchester, we are proud to welcome people from all over the world to study in our beautiful city every year. We hope that you all come to view Manchester as your home, but we know that doesn’t necessarily come easily or quickly. Whether you’ve moved 3000 miles away from home or 30, the majority of people will encounter homesickness in one form or another during their time at University.

If you’ve recently moved to Manchester, you might be struggling to settle in to your new home and city. With everything going on at the moment, we know that you might be missing home a lot – particularly if you have been self-isolating in your new accommodation. This year, it’s more important than ever to keep up contact with others if you’re feeling homesick or lonely. So, here are a few ways that you can help to alleviate homesickness, or prevent it from arising in the first place.

Staying in touch

This one may seem obvious, but keeping in contact with friends and family at home can quickly move to the bottom of your priority list once work starts building up. Make sure you designate some time every week to catch up with your loved ones. This can be as simple as sending a few texts back and forth, but it’s even better if you can make the time for a phone call or FaceTime conversation. Take a look at content ambassador Laura’s piece on keeping up with old friendships if you need any tips for staying in touch friends and family.

Make new connections

As much as keeping in touch with your loved ones from home is important, it is also necessary to build new relationships with the people around you in Manchester. Try getting to know your flatmates and course mates by asking them questions about what their life was like prior to University. You may find out that they miss home as much as you do.

It’s also okay if you don’t become best friends with the people you see most often. The beauty of University is that there are so many opportunities to meet new people. At the Students’ Union, societies provide a great opportunity for you to meet like-minded people, try a new activity, enjoy your favourite hobby and have fun at University. Despite current restrictions, many societies are still active and hold regular online events and socials.

The SU has put together an extensive programme of online society activities that you can get involved in from the safety of your own bedroom – with everything from meditation to Zoom quizzes. The events are open to all students, and details of how to join can be found on the event listings.

You could also have a look on our Connect page for more tips and ideas for meeting new people and making connections at university.

Get involved

As well as making friends, societies are a great way to keep you busy whilst at University. You may not be used to having so much free time, which can sometimes lead to boredom. Establishing a routine can be helpful in combating these feelings, so find things you’re interested in and get involved!

Explore

There may be some specific aspects of your home town which you miss most, but you could find things in Manchester which you grow to love just as much. Explore the city (safely) and find buildings and places that really catch your eye or speak to you. For example if you lived by a river at home and find yourself missing that, you could take a trip to Salford Quays to enjoy the sun setting over the water. Manchester has so much to offer, so you’re bound to find something – or some things – that make you feel more at home.

If you’re looking for new ideas of things to do, find some inspiration in our 50 things to do in 50 days!

Things to Consider

Social media may make you think that you are the only one going through these challenging aspects of the University journey. Your friends from home may be posting pictures from their new University life, seemingly having the best time. If you’re not feeling completely settled yet, seeing these posts may make you feel like you are alone in your circumstances. We’re here to tell you that the majority of people do go through many ups and downs during this transition period, and what you’re experiencing is entirely normal, regardless of what you see on social media.

For more help dealing with homesickness, take a look at content ambassador Malaika’s tips for overcoming homesickness.

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