Homesickness


Over 70% of students experience homesickness at one point or another while attending university. Being away from home for the first time, making new friendships, keeping up with your college work and taking care of such things as doing your own laundry makes a lot of students feel overwhelmed. This especially true when you’re starting college or when you’re an international student who has to adapt to a new culture and language.

Over 70% of students experience homesickness at one point or another while attending university. Being away from home for the first time, making new friendships, keeping up with your college work and taking care of such things as doing your own laundry makes a lot of students feel overwhelmed. This especially true when you’re starting college or when you’re an international student who has to adapt to a new culture and language.

However, there are a lot of things that can be done to prevent your homesickness from getting too bad. The following is a list of 10 coping strategies, that have proven to be very helpful for students feeling homesick.

  • Keep in touch with home: FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook are all good and cheap options to keep in touch with your friends and family at home. However, make sure to not be glued to your phone or laptop 24/7 as the constant keeping up with how things are at home can make you feel even worse. Remember to cherish all the new experiences you’re making here instead of trying to ‘virtually’ follow the life of your loved ones at home.
  • Distract yourself: Join societies and sport clubs (remember it is never too late to join, a lot of societies do events for newcomers throughout the year). Use your time at Trinity to explore things you have never done before, such as knitting or trampolining! You can find a list of all the societies and clubs here: http://www.trinitysocieties.ie/societies/search?x=0&y=0&kw=a
  • Eat food that reminds you of home: Invite some guests over and have a dinner party where you introduce them to some of the foods they might not know! Dublin also has a wide range of restaurants from all over the world, such as for example a Russian Restaurant (Admiral) on Marlborough Street and a Vietnamese Restaurant (Pho Ta) on Cope Street. Simply google the type of restaurant you are looking for, chances are high that Dublin has it.
  • Talk about it: Most people experience homesickness while they are at college so don’t be afraid to talk your friends about how you are feeling. Sometimes it can also help to link in with people from the same region as you, so try joining the International Students Society to find people who come to Trinity from the same region as you. Trinity also has a variety of different services that can help you if you feel like you want to talk to a professional, so make sure to check out this list the Student Counselling Service has put together: https://www.tcd.ie/Student_Counselling/support-services/college-support/
  • Find a good routine: Try and go to bed around the same time every night and set your alarm for a reasonable hour in the morning so that your body can find a healthy rhythm. It can be very tempting to stay up late every night to catch up with your friends at home, especially if they are in a different time zone, but it will leave you tired and miserable the next day. Try and arrange times that work for both you and your friends and family at home to Skype, so that neither of you have to sacrifice their sleep to talk to the other person.
  • Make your room feel cosy/homely: Chances are that you will spend quite a few hours every day in your room, whether in a shared apartment or in Halls. Take the time to make the room feel a bit more homely by hanging up posters of your favourite films or photos of your family and friends.
  • Move your body: Exercise can help you to take your mind off things, especially when you do it outside. Try and go for a walk for at least 15 minutes every day, whether that is walking to and college or exploring your neighbour. Yoga and other relaxing activities, such as meditation are other great ways of unwinding your mind, so why not consider joining Trinity’s very own Yoga Society.
  • Find something you’re passionate about: Everyone has something they are really passionate about, whether that is the environment or gender equality. TCDSU run a number of different campaigns every year so keep your eyes peeled and feel free to email your sabbatical officers if you want to get involved with any of them.
  • Explore the city: Dublin is a beautiful city with a rich cultural history. Free walking tours are the perfect way to get a feeling for the city and to get to know the main attractions. The Chester Beatty Library, the Hugh Lane or the National Museum of Modern Art are great for students as the are completely free of charge. Dublin also has the perfect location for day trips on the weekends, with Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Greystones all less than 30 minutes away on Dart.
  • Immerse yourself in Irish culture: Dublin has so much more to offer than just Guinness and Leprechauns so make sure to really immerse yourself in all aspects of Irish culture. The Irish language society on Campus (Cumann Gaelach) offer free language classes at various points throughout the year, which is the perfect opportunity to pick up some Irish vocabulary to impress your friends and family at home.
© Trinity College Dublin Students' Union 2017