Homesickness can range from a mild sense of missing familiar things to a profoundly debilitating pain…

Don’t be hard on yourself

Homesickness can take you by surprise if you’ve been so looking forward to starting uni that you haven’t prepared yourself for the sense of loss that always accompanies a change. Remind yourself that it is appropriate to feel homesick from time to time and don’t be hard on yourself – self-bullying and other depressed thinking habits like this may trigger a depression habit spiral.

Baggage from home

For some students, going off to uni or college is a welcome escape from problems and unhappiness at home or in earlier stages of life. Yet in some cases escape from a situation where you’ve been ‘hanging in there’ can also be unsettling, suddenly bringing bottled up feelings to the surface. The student counselling service is a very useful place to go for help with this – the issues you bring don’t need to be directly to do with your studies. Things from your past are less likely to continue to have a hold on you when you can work these feelings through and put them in their place. See also the Understand Depression section, especially Why me, why now?

Parental expectations

Another kind of baggage you bring with you from home is the expectations of your parents and other significant people in your life (perhaps teachers). Some students realise only once they have started on their course, how heavily influenced by others their decision and choices have been. Depression can be a sign that your own inner motivation needs to be addressed. The counselling service can help with this too.

Family disruptions

Some students leave behind a seemingly-stable home only to find this disrupted almost immediately by parents deciding to separate or divorce. This can be profoundly unsettling – a secure ‘home base’ to return to can be a very important ingredient when starting somewhere new. It can also be difficult when parents want to involve you or make you take sides.