Far from home

A young person describes their fears of moving away from home to attend University, and how she managed to conquer them.

Girl with backpack smiling
We were doing heaps of fun activities and it was great to be a new city and meeting new people, but I just couldn't shake this overwhelming homesick feeling.

At the end of Year 12, I was completed exhausted. I'd had a tough year, and to top it off, I didn't get the marks I needed from my final exams so I missed out on getting into the course of my dreams. I had a really difficult time coming to terms with not getting the results I set out for. At times I just wanted to curl up in bed and never get out again.

I decided that I needed a change of scenery, so when the opportunity came up for me to study in another state it was one that I seized.  A month after the University offers came out, I packed up everything and moved to the other side of the country. Many of my friends told me I was insane, but I just wanted to get as far away as possible and start again, in a place where people didn't know about my past and had no expectations of me.

I thought moving away would be a piece of cake. Somehow I believed that being far away from home also would mean I would be far away from everything that was getting me down - but this wasn't the case.

My first week or so at University was absolute hell. We were doing heaps of fun activities and it was great to be a new city and meeting new people, but I just couldn't shake this overwhelming homesick feeling. There were so many times that week I just wanted to jump on the first plane back home.

I remember standing in the Dean's office a few days after I arrived and having the Dean ask me how I was settling it and having to fight back the tears. "It's great," I lied. "I'm having a great time."

But I stuck it out. About a week after arriving I decided that I was going to make the most of the opportunity that I had been given. I put up some photos in my room of my friends from home and of my home city to remind me of them. I also tried to keep in contact with my friends via e-mail. When I started to feel down and was missing home I thought about all the positives of living away from home: the freedom, the new friends I was making and the new places I was able to visit.

I soon found that the homesick feeling went away and I really started to enjoy my time away from home. That feeling still comes back sometimes, but if I try to concentrate on the positives rather than the negatives, it passes quite quickly.

Last reviewed: 20 August, 2015
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