It's normal to feel homesick

Issue date: 12 September 2019

The move to university can be really exciting and full of new opportunities but the transition to a new environment and away from friends and family can be understandably difficult. It is normal to feel homesick, isolated or lonely at times but there are plenty of ways to combat this and enjoy your new university experience to the full.

Put yourself out there

University is full of opportunities to meet new people but sometimes it can be daunting - but remember that everyone is going through the same new experiences, so why not do it together?

Freshers Fun

The Students' Union has a packed itinerary of social events you can get involved in - check out their welcome website for the full list of events. The university prides itself on having a wide range of activities to suit everyone from parties to movie nights.


During your time at university you'll spend a lot of time with your course mates so why not get to know them - you already have at least one thing in common! Attend the inductions, sit near people rather than alone and join the Facebook group for your course as this is often a place for support with work and arranging social events.

Social societies

There's a huge range of societies so be sure to visit Freshers' Fair on Friday 20 September at the Exhibition and Conference Centre, Frenchay Campus. Societies are an amazing way to meet new people who have similar interests to you.

Community living

If you're living in our halls of residence you're already part of a community of students so try and make the most of this. Spend time in the communal areas, join or suggest a flat group activity and make an effort to spend time with the people you live with.

Keep busy in Bristol

Bristol is one of the most exciting, vibrant cities in the UK and there's always something going on and new people to meet.

Get creative - Bristol has a thriving creative scene which is a brilliant way to get involved with your new home and feel less isolated. There are numerous art, music, dance and theatre groups around the city. See what's happening at our very own Arnolfini and Spike Island.

See the sights - Bristol has some iconic places to visit as well as some hidden gems, spending time getting to know your new environment can help you feel more at home.

Give back - Volunteering is an amazing way to get to know the area, meet new people and make a difference in your new community. Our Careers team can help you find a volunteering opportunity in a role you care about.

Be social on social media

Technology is a fantastic resource for keeping in touch with people, however, beware of spending too much time on social media.

Stay connected - Technology means you can still keep in touch with friends and family from around the world when you're feeling lonely. However, try to put a limit on this so you have time to spend meeting new people.

Get involved - Linking in with people from your course, your flat or a group or society is easy on social media. Make the most of this by keeping up-to-date with events going on.

Switch off - Research suggests that too much time on social media is bad for our mental health. Social media can be a fantastic resource but spending too much time online can increase isolation.

Seek support

If you are finding loneliness or isolation a particular problem, remember that you can speak to someone from the University Wellbeing Service for support. They offer 50-minute appointments for you to talk through the issues you are struggling with, and the Wellbeing Practitioner will suggest things that can help.

To book an appointment simply visit the Wellbeing Service webpage and complete the short registration form. If you have completed the registration form before, contact the team using the details below.

  • Location: 2FC050, Felixstowe Court (behind B and C block), Frenchay Campus
  • Open: Term time - Monday - Friday 08:30-17:00 (19:30 on Tuesdays and 16:30 on Fridays). Out of term time - Monday - Friday 8:30-16:30 (16:00 on Fridays)
  • Phone: 0117 32 86268
  • Email:

If you need to speak to someone outside of office hours, you can contact Kooth Student - they provide free, anonymous online counselling during evenings and weekends including over the vacations.

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