Student Survival: Homesickness


Many young students that have been heading off to university over the past few weeks will now be on the slippery slope of the Freshers Free Fall, the comedown back to reality of starting your new life after the week (or fortnight, if you’re lucky enough to go to a university like mine) of partying and having fun. For many people this is when the first bout of homesickness is likely to kick in. It’s important to remember that this is COMPLETELY NORMAL and by succumbing to it you are just the same as every else, no matter how well they may hide it.

The fact that you are on your own, looking after yourself and living (in most cases) with a bunch of complete strangers in a flat in a city that you don’t know can seem a bit daunting but luckily for you there are lots of things that you can do that might not cure the problem, but at least help it start to feel better.

Go exploring
If you have no idea where anything is in your new city is, besides the rather obvious things like clubs and the local Tesco then you will always be feeling like an outsider in this place that you have to live for the next three years. Get out there with some friends and take a wander around the city. Find the local museum, the beach, the best pubs that remind you a bit of your local back home and just have a wander about. If you feel like you know the city a bit better then it will seem a lot less daunting to trapped inside it for a great chunk of your life.

The endorphins released when you exercise will make you feel a lot happier about everything. Get down the gym or dust off your running shoes and kill two birds with one stone by taking a jog around the city, although I wouldn’t recommend doing this alone when it gets dark, thats like a gazelle covering itself in steak and prancing through a group of lions.

The best thing is that the calories you burn off with exercise can be used to scoff down an entire bar of chocolate in the evening, another excellent source of those cheery endorphins!

Go for coffee
Coffee, or more often than not, Tea solves everything. That said, people seem to be a little reluctant to go for a cup of tea with someone else when they don’t know them that we’ll so coffee seems like your less threatening option. Grab some friends off of your course or from your society or just the group of randoms you met down the pub the other night and get to know them properly without having to resort to bellowing like a possessed gibbon over the thrumming bass line of the infernal club music that usually plays during your social encounters.

Home cooked food
Call your mum up and get her to give you the recipe for your favourite home cooked meal and then make it for yourself. Good food can make anybody feel better!

Make friends
This might seem like a bit of a cop out as an answer for you, but seriously try to make a group of genuine friends. They can be from your flat, your course, the local library, a group you joined, anything! Just the fact hat you’ve got some friends around to talk to when you feel a bit down will make you feel instantly better and they can always help distract you from feeling so down!


Dealing With Your Hangover: A Guide

I feel that it is safe to say that I have had my fair share of hangovers. As a student, a lot of your first year is spent socialising and attempting to make new and interesting friends and this usually involves the use of nights on the town and a fair bit of alcohol. From time to time you will likely over indulge and whilst you may feel amazing when still drunk, in the morning you will have to face the soul crushing agony that is…


The hangover is your body’s way for punishing you for having too much of a good time the night before. It is “the experience of various unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. The most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, diarrhea and thirst, typically after the intoxicating effect of the alcohol begins to wear off.”
Sounds like hell right? Luckily, most hangovers don’t feature ALL of the symptoms, but merely a combination of a few – unless you’re really unlucky. So what can you do to fight back against this torment? Well, the first step is knowledge. “Forewarned is forearmed” as many great strategists have said after all.

The way I see it, there are a few different types of Hangover Sufferers and they all deal with them in their own way. Sometimes, a hangover may be so incredibly soul destroying that it resists the allocated treatment for your kind of hangover, so feel free to mix and match should that day ever come. But, straight on to the first type!

The Sleeper

The Sleeper is probably one of the most common forms of hangover sufferers. The only thing that can cure the insatiable pounding in their heads that resembles a 90s trance disco is to stay asleep for as long as humanly possible. This leads to the view that most students (as they are of course almost always hungover) are zombies. Wandering around, barely functioning and trying just to stay alive. The Sleeper requires a good 12 to 20 hours of sleep the day after a heavy night and no amount of sunlight will help!

The Exerciser

“Up and at ’em!” is the best way to describe this group. The layabout ways of The Sleeper have absolutely no place here as Exercisers need to get up and get moving, despite the splitting pain in their head. Hitting the gym, going for a run or cycle or even a brisk walk will blitz the toxic fumes left roaming the body and within a short time, you’ll be back up to a functioning level of humanity.

The Eater

Food. Food. FOOD! That’s what you need and it had better be fried! Eggs, bacon, sausage, anything. You need a lot of it and the greasier the better. All the fats from the fried food will soak up any remaining alcohol in your stomach and cure the roiling belly, possibly your least favourite part of the hangover.

The Preparer

If you’re a Preparer then you’ll have forced down some chips or toast before you get to bed, just so that you can let the carbs soak up some of your boozy binge whilst you try to sleep it off. Chances are, you’ll have also chugged a pint of crisp and cold water before stumbling your way up the stairs and plonking that second glass of water on your bedside table, ready for the morning – usually with a berocca next to it.

Personally, I’m an Exerciser. I get up early every morning anyway and I love hitting the gym so it makes it pretty easy to drag myself up and out of bed the morning after an over indulgance. That said, I do keep a glass of water by my bed, just in case. It never hurts to be prepared 😉