Ask The Advocate: Homesickness and you

Homesickness is a common occurrence during the first week of a new semester. Pixabay

Struggling with homesickness at the start of the semester

Welcome to a new recurring feature where both the URSU advocate and a student respond to a pressing question posed by a student. If you would like to submit a question email Taylor, the section editor.

Question: “What should I do if I’m struggling being away from home during the first week of classes?”

By Ursu Advocate Kathryn Boyce


Remind yourself that you are resilient and that you have likely already developed some positive coping skills. Give yourself credit for pushing through the fears and taking on this new adventure. Know that in life, struggles always appear in the curve of change.

You may find it helpful to write down some ways you have overcome obstacles in the past. Allow yourself to cry and feel sad, that does not mean you are weak, it means you are human. You may find it helpful to create a “nest” for yourself in your new dwelling. Hang up photos and art that remind you of home. Create a safe space to land at the end of your stressful day. Prepare some of your favourite food. If possible, call or video call family frequently.

During struggles, we tend to isolate ourselves. I am encouraging the opposite. On campus there are many ways to become involved. Attend conversations circles to help others improve their speaking skills, or improve yours. Attend on campus workshops that are of interest to you. Volunteer for the Students’ Union. All of these noted activities help place you in a space to make new friends with mutual interests.

Although the struggle of feeling homesick usually eases, if you find yourself stuck in sadness and find it is negatively impacting you in other areas of your life, please reach out for help. There are many support services on campus. You do not have to do this alone.

I am always available to discuss your situation (an appointment not always necessary) and help guide you to resources and supports as you go through the initial struggles of living away from home.

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