I moved to Leicester at the end of February this year. It was tough leaving my friends and family but the amount of support that I received was amazing. I have to say that if you are planning on moving away for university, DO NOT GO HOME for the first month. It’s going to be hard but you will be a lot better in the long run. The first two weeks for me were the hardest. I knew no one, I did not know the area and I became quite lonely; but as lectures began I started making friends. I stuck to my guns and visited home after a month (it was the Easter holidays so it worked out quite well!) By the time the first month was over I had made some new friends, had gotten myself a little job working at the local football stadium and had started taking myself out on little adventures. I realised that before I had started uni I had never given myself time to focus on me; even something as simple as doing a face-mask or painting my nails! I was constantly working and ended up doing 60+ hours a week to save money for my move and I had neglected my own self-care!
As I had waited a month before coming home I found that when I returned to Leicester I started feeling less homesick. Don’t get me wrong I still had moments where I missed home, but they weren’t as hard as when I first moved. I actually found that when I would visit home I missed the busy city life!
During my first couple of weeks in Leicester I visited the Richard III museum, the shopping centres and I had found out about an autopsy event that was happening so I decided to take myself to that! From doing these things by myself I could feel my confidence growing I was coming out of my shell. I became more independent and put all of my focus into my work. I have met some amazing girls who I am now moving in with in a couple of weeks and we are all so excited!
I have been home a handful of times since moving to Leicester and have realised that a week is my limit. Caerphilly is a very quiet, Welsh valley town, so switching from a city with so much going on to a town where the shops close at 4pm is now a culture shock!
So my advice to those thinking about moving away for uni: DO IT! Just don’t go back home soon after you start otherwise you will become considerably homesick and it will have an effect on your work and mental well-being. Also, remember that everyone who has moved for university will be in the same position as you. So take yourself out to explore (although always tell someone where you are going) and don’t be afraid to try new things! Moving away has been the hardest but best thing I have ever done; and I would do it all again in heartbeat!