When home doesn't feel like home anymore...
Your time back at home not going how you expected?
We make jokes here and there about the struggles of moving back home after spending a year at Sheffield Hallam living independently, but for some people, this can be a serious struggle.
It might be that you've gone back to a 'home' that has changed a lot in the year that you've been away or you're just used to your uni life (understandably) and don't feel like you fit in anymore...
There could be a number of things affecting you and your wellbeing:
- your home life isn't positive
- you're missing your friends or boy/girlfriend from university
- you have to go back to working and paying bills
- your friends and family don't really 'get' your new life
- a lot has changed in the last year (even if you've been home now and again)
You're not alone
What's important to remember is that you can't let others impact your experience or how you're feeling. You're going to be home for at least a couple of months, so you need to try to make this period as positive as possible.
It can be made even more difficult to deal with if you feel like everyone is loving life back at home, but be assured that isn't true. Students all over the country, maybe even your friends, are feeling this way because it's such a big change and takes a lot of getting used to.
When you first moved to Sheffield, it might have taken you only 2 or 3 weeks to miss home, and it might only take a couple of days to realise why you left. Keep reminding yourself that it's not permanent and that you need to make the most of the situation whilst you can - before you know it, you'll be back at uni and will have LOTS of things to keep you busy.
Yes, you may be away from your university support system but there are lots of things you can do to feel happier about being back at home. They could seriously improve your wellbeing and make these next couple of months easier to deal with:
1. Fill your calendar the best you can
Get out of the house and do things with the people who are at home (parents, siblings, relatives, friends) if you can. By planning your time at home in advance as much as you can, you'll feel much better about it and it constantly gives you something to look forward to - it could be as small as having a Netflix day or nipping to the dentist for a checkup.
2. Keep in touch with your uni friends
You don't want to just shut yourself off to anyone who isn't in your hometown; instead, speak to your uni friends as much as you can. Even the odd text or FaceTime call every now and again will pick you up and prevent you from feeling isolated. Maybe make some plans to meet up if you all have time.
3. Don't give in to negative feelings and emotions
When you don't feel like opening the curtains and just want to stay in bed all day, don't give in to this feeling. Instead, get up, have a shower and make the most of the day ahead of you. Life always challenges you and there will be times when you just don't feel up to doing anything BUT take control of the situation and do something positive.
4. Make self-care a priority
Practising self-care is essential. Treat yourself to a haircut, do a home workout, run yourself a bath, cook your favourite meal, anything that will bring you out of your unhappy state of mind. This is so much more important than you may even realise and so easy to do!
5. Speak to people about it
Your family (hopefully) won't bite your head off for just sharing with them how you're feeling. It's understandable that this isn't what you expected but by keeping those feelings bottled up, you're going to become unhappier and continue to have negative feelings about being at home. By speaking about it, it might change your experience slightly.
What's important to remember is that you're not alone. Try not to worry too much about what people are posting or saying on social media either because you don't know how genuine that is and everyone is different.
You have SO much to look forward to after summer, so just try to find a way to make it work for now and try to think positively!
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