Welcome to our Youth Talk Blog, a section dedicated to youth lived-experiences with mental health and wellbeing, with weekly blog posts from diverse young people’s perspectives. This is a positive, fun and resourceful space, showcasing young people thriving and connecting with healthful activities, resources and support. This post has been written by Jess, our Community Education intern, who is a 22-year-old psychology student.
A naturally big step in young adulthood is moving away from home and your family to somewhere to start a new chapter of your life. In my case I had never been more excited, it gave me a new sense of independence. It was not until the excitement of moving into my new place and saying goodbye to my family that reality began to set in, and I felt a big rush of sadness and almost loneliness. This is normal, it is a big adjustment to move away from people and an environment you have effectively been around your entire life thus far.
One easy trap to fall in when feeling this way is isolating oneself and falling into the mood of feeling low and not wanting to be around others. I experienced this and looking back realised how little sense this made. When feeling this way, one should want to be around others, but sometimes when experiencing a low mood or time, it is easy to become stuck in this way.
It was not until I was made aware by my close friends that I was acting isolated and spending so much time alone that it woke me up a bit. I then spent time with friends around me and I realised how beneficial this was to my wellbeing. Everyone needs alone time, however it is also important to spend time with people you love and care about and who feel the same for you.
Moving away from home can also come with other challenges to do with dealing with different responsibilities. Budget can be something to become used to when being out on your own. It is important to be aware of costs and the reality of being out on your own. Having a structure and a plan can avoid extra stress involving money that can add on to the already stressful experience of starting a new chapter or missing home.
Another big and very important hurdle to get through is finding a new place to live. For myself, this was one of the most exciting aspects of moving and starting the new year in general. However, this can lead to enhanced expectations. I was surprised at just how long it took in this process to find a house my friends and I liked as well as ourselves being accepted into one, at a time which was highly competitive and busy, when many university students and people in general are looking for new homes at the beginning of the year. However, time and patience did prevail, and we ended up in an ideal spot for us all.
It is essential to make sure when you do a big step like moving in with friends/people, you keep in mind how well all of you will get along in a living scenario.
A useful tip for dealing with homesickness is creating a schedule/routine. This can be planning a walk in a certain time of day to get coffee from your favourite café. Anything to make you feel more settled and at home.
Second tip is to not let boredom set in too much. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the negative energy or feeling homesick. Going out and joining the gym for example, or going out and meeting new people is a great way to also make new friends.
Missing things whether they be small or big from a different time in your life is not something to feel uncomfortable about, it is all too normal. It is okay to have these feelings, I have found it productive to try and lift myself out of the mood, and positive emotions and experiences can all contribute to your new routine and way of life.