Settling in

After the excitement of arriving in Leeds and the whirlwind of the start of term, you'll begin to find a routine. Making friends can help combat feeling lost and homesick.

Making friends

It's important to remember that everyone is in the same position as you. There are lots of opportunities to get to know new people.

Freshers week

Freshers week is an excellent place to meet new people and sign up for clubs and societies to meet like minded folk.

Halls of residence. A great place to make new friends. Open your door, get the kettle on and make the drinks! Your hall probably has a Facebook page, which is where you can find out about things that are happening, and even get to know your neighbours before you arrive.

Academic societies. You'll see most of the people on your course in lectures and seminars, but your faculty or school will have a society that will organise trips and evenings.

Living at home. It can sometimes feel as if you're missing out if you're living in at home. This certainly doesn't have to be the case. You can maximise your time on campus by getting involved with the Union's clubs and societies, or by joining any faculty or school societies. 

Sport. If you're interested in sport, then why not join a club or society, or visit The Edge, the University sports centre.

Feeling homesick

Feeling homesick affects two out of three University students at some point. It's a perfectly normal part of the experience of leaving home.

It can be hard moving away from your family and friends and making decisions that you might not have had to make before. For most people, feeling homesick is a temporary feeling, and after a short time many settle down and enjoy their time away from home. However it can be a difficult time, and it's important to know steps you can take to help, and where to go for support.


  • Feeling lost, lonely or unhappy.
  • Missing home.
  • Regularly thinking about the past.
  • Not wanting to get out of bed, or leave your room.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with everything.
  • Constantly feeling unwell.

Steps to help 

  • Talk to your friends about how you feel. You won't be alone in how you're feeling.
  • Put up photos, plants and posters to make your room feel comfortable and welcoming.
  • Try and create a work/life balance. It's important to study, but a night out with new friends, arranging a trip into town or just watching a film can be something to look forward to.
  • Don't give up. It's normal to feel like leaving at first, but the feelings normally pass within a few weeks.
  • Keep busy. Planning your days and establishing a routine that works for you won't leave you much time to feel homesick.
  • Join clubs and societies. They're a great way of meeting new people with the same interest as you.
  • Explore the Feeling at Home in Leeds online guides to hear about students' experiences and advice about settling in, making friends, and making the most of all aspects of University life.
  • Volunteer to help with something you are interested in. Leeds University Union has lots of events and things happening throughout term, and it's a great way to meet new people.

Where to get support

Everyone arriving at University is in a new environment. You may find others on your course or where you live are feeling a similar way to you. If you have friends to talk to, you might find they understand and share your worries. 

Speak to your tutor, or other people in your school. They are very understanding about what it's like to be away from home, and can help. 

The Student Advice, part of Leeds University Union can offer confidential chat, online and in person.

Useful links

The Mix

The Student Room

Save the Student