Produced by Katy
from United Kingdom
Master by Research
Being away from home in a new place is scary enough, especially if you’re too far away from home to visit regularly. I was quite lucky as I’m from the south of Hampshire, and my home was only an hour’s drive from Bournemouth. Still, I moved into Purbeck House during the pandemic, which meant seeing family was suddenly difficult or impossible for me. So I had to find ways to make myself feel at home in accommodation and uni while dealing with homesickness.
One of the first things I did to feel more at home was connect and spend time with my flatmates before lectures started in first year. Since we were all on different courses, it made sense for us to get used to living together before things got busy.
We went on day trips around Bournemouth and Dorset; some nights when restrictions were increased, we stayed in for poker or video game nights. One of the best times I had was cooking our Christmas dinner before some of us went home for the holidays. We even made a fort out of mattresses and chairs and had a movie night!
Another way to feel at home was decorating my room with items from home, like my favourite books, cuddly plush toys, some framed posters, books, all sorts. It didn’t feel so strange to me once I added my personal touch to my own space. It felt more like my room, not a random one I was renting for the year.
Other than studying, I wanted to get a job while at BU, which definitely helped me think of Bournemouth as a home and make new friends in the process. It’s been great earning money at a good student rate so I can afford to travel home when I want to or go for more days out with friends.
Being a Student Ambassador is such a fun role, especially when I got to assist a bubble artist during my shift in Freshers Week.
Even though it was great to meet new people and make the most of my time at uni, I made sure that I always remembered my family and friends back home. They were missing me as much as I was missing them, so we always took the time (just a half hour on a Sunday or something) to have a call or video chat and just catch up. Or better yet, get them to visit you!
It really helped when assignment deadlines or exams were looming and I was stressed; knowing I had a call with my sister coming up helped me through it. Leaving home is tough on both sides, so don’t be scared to talk about homesickness and make time for those back home.