Homesickness / Loneliness
Most people experience homesickness at some time in their life. Assure your child that they will not be the only person feeling homesick as suddenly they are all having to adapt to an unfamiliar environment.
Managing your child’s expectations of University life can be key. For example, one expectation that some students have is that instantly they will have a large circle of friends. This does not happen for everyone and some young people struggle to ‘fit in’ and find their feet. Social networking sites can assist with this but after a while your child may deeply miss friends and family at home. Therefore, you child needs to be prepared and able to leave familiar things, places and people and adapt to new situations. This is unlikely to happen overnight and the first signs you notice may be a drop in confidence or self esteem.
Encourage your child to talk to you about how they are feeling as this is good therapy. Encourage your child to take a week at a time, reassuring them that almost always, the unhappy feelings will pass. Encourage them to take things slowly and set some goals and not to make any quick decisions about leaving University. Give your child enough time to get involved at the University. Sometimes bringing your child home too soon can hinder them settling into their new routine. The Student Union or University is likely to have many activities, groups and societies and are usually crying out for volunteers. Sometimes, volunteering projects or helping other people can really assist some students to settle in and help them meet new people. If the feelings persist, encourage your child to speak to a counsellor at the University or seek help from their doctor.