Do you feel like you haven't settled into university life as well as others have done? Do you miss life before university?
Research shows that 35% of new students experience homesickness and 46% of students in the UK feel lonely. You may have felt fine when first starting university and then noticed you have become homesick or lonely later in the year or after a break. You may be questioning whether University is for you or be experiencing imposter syndrome which is making you doubt whether you can do it. If you are new to Liverpool or the UK, you may experience culture shock when you first arrive.
Feeling lonely or missing home may make you feel unloved, depressed, anxious, have obsessive thoughts and experience minor physical ailments. Some people overcome their apprehension quite quickly, whilst others may take longer to make the transition and will find themselves preoccupied with thoughts of life before University or the fear of missing out. It can feel as though everyone else has quickly made lifelong friendships from looking at social media, but this is often not the case.
How can you overcome these feelings?
Acknowledge how you feel and believe that it will pass, because it usually does
Recognise that these thoughts and feelings are common and normal and give yourself time to adjust, it will not happen overnight. Make sure you look after yourself. It is normal to feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety about coming to a new place, making new friends and taking on a new course. Don’t give up!
Talk to someone
Speak to a friend, flat mate or course mate about how you are feeling or use one of the many sources of support available at LJMU; a Student Wellbeing Advisor, Residential Assistant, JMSU, a Chaplain. Try to remember that University is new to everyone and the majority of students will be feeling a similar way to how you are feeling. Make connections where you can and remember that someone has to make the first move!
Be realistic about what you expect from university life
University is not just about studying or party all the time, find a balance of activities and take time for self-care and relaxation. See if others want to accompany you to things but also don’t miss out because you don’t have anyone to go with. Personalise your room so it is a welcoming place for you. Get to know your timetable and Canvas and, check your university email regularly so you don’t miss important announcements or updates.
Try something new
Keep busy. Join clubs and societies, look to JMSU for ideas, you could also consider volunteering to feel part of the community. Sign up for free events with the Student Opportunities team to see a different side to the city. Getting a part time job can help you meet new people in the city and our Careers team can give you more information.
Keep in touch with people at home
Call/text friends and family to keep in touch (but work out the frequency which works best for you). Send photos of your new space. Fix a time to go home but also give yourself enough time to get involved at university. Try not to go back every weekend as you may miss what is happening here.
Access support at LJMU
LJMU have a team of Wellbeing Advisors who can help and support you and help you to find ways to get involved in the LJMU community.
Enrol on the SAW Canvas course for workshops on a range of wellbeing topics.
There are lots of sources of inspiration for overcoming loneliness and/or homesickness out there, check out these we have hand picked:
Read some advice from other students
If you need support specific to the current COVID-19 health crisis, please visit student support.