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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

For students who move away from home to attend university, living on their own for the first time can be liberating and exciting. Before and after coming to university, this idea of post-secondary life was basically the only one I was told. This time in my life was going to be filled with endless freedom and possibility—so when I began to feel homesick in my freshmen year and longed to move back home with my family, I thought it was a sign that I was failing to have the ‘true university experience’ and didn’t share how I felt with any of my loved ones.

After conducting some research, I found that homesickness is both completely normal and quite common for university students. Up to 70% of university students experience homesickness during their studies and these feelings occur most often during their first year away from home.

The Her Campus at U Ottawa team is no different—all of us have been homesick at one time or another. A few members of the team have shared the ways they deal with these feelings below. We hope this shows that homesickness is normal, temporary, and nothing to be ashamed of!

Chatting with a loved one

“For comfort, I call my mom and we talk about everything and nothing together.”

– Avalyn Kwai Pun, Writer

“What I usually do when I’m homesick is simply calling whoever reminds me of home. Sometimes I will randomly FaceTime my brother or my cousins to have a quick chat with them! Surrounding yourself with people that have the same background as you might also help in terms of talking out why you’re missing home.”

– Maude St-Pierre, Marketing & Publicity Director

revisiting a comfort food

“I FaceTime my parents while I cook my favourite meal.”

– Eve Chamely, Writer

“When I’m homesick I find that calling or FaceTiming my mom helps me. Also, eating meals I used to have back home (like shepherd’s pie or chilli) makes it a bit more bearable!”

– Angelina Dickieson, Writer

keeping busy

“Call my family, keep myself busy, and not isolate myself (I’m always the most homesick when I’m laying around doing nothing), and plan things to look forward to!”

– Katie Grierson, Fashion & Beauty Editor

“Whenever I miss home I always FaceTime family members and spend time with friends.”

– Emma Hefkey, Writer

watching a familiar fave

“I watch a comfort show that I’m used to watching at home (ideally paired with some comfort snacks, too)—it makes me feel way more comfortable and normal even if I’m somewhere new and feeling a bit off.”

– Teaghan Durand, Chapter Leader

My own strategies to deal with homesickness involve a mix of all these things. I’m always comforted when I FaceTime my mom or my sister and I love having hot chocolate or soup like my parents used to make me as a kid. I also find that spending time with my university friends or planning fun activities to do in Ottawa cheers me up—it helps to remind me why I moved away from home in the first place and how exciting this time in my life can be!

While I was severely homesick during my first year of university, I’ve found that these feelings have significantly decreased as time goes on. I don’t feel the need to visit home as often as I used to, and often even miss being in Ottawa when I’m in my hometown! I still feel homesick sometimes (particularly after the Christmas break), but I feel more at home in this city every day.

Carolina Herce

U Ottawa '24

Carolina is a third-year student pursuing a degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. She loves reading young adult novels, iced lavender lattes with oat milk, and playing the Legend of Zelda.
Avalyn Kwai Pun

U Ottawa '26

Avalyn is a first year joint honours Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies student. She's passionate about social change and feminism, and has hopes to become a lawyer in the future. She enjoys reading, spending time with her family, music, and writing!
Maude St-Pierre

U Ottawa '25

Maude is a third-year Second Language Teaching student. She always complains that she's lacking money, but is always willing to spend it on tattoos or concerts! If she's not at a concert venue, you can find her buried deep in the most recent murder mystery book trending on booktok.
Eve Chamely

U Ottawa '23

I'm from a small town in southern Ontario, I love Romantic poetry and sustainability, a strange combination but trust me... it works. :)
Angelina is a fourth year student pursuing an Honours BA in Communication. Aside from writing, she enjoys art, iced chai lattes, and heavy metal.
Katie Grierson

U Ottawa '25

Katie (she/her) is the Senior editor for the uOttawa chapter! When not writing, you can find her reading for her english lit degree, eating sushi, watching period dramas, and missing her dog! Her email is hgrie095@uottawa.ca
Emma Hefkey

U Ottawa '26

Emma is a second year criminology student at the University of Ottawa! She loves reading, travelling, art, and spending time with family!
Teaghan is a fourth-year Translation student who loves drinking espresso and thrifting--in that order. She is also a part of the Campus Trendsetters community! Find her on Instagram @teaghandurand :)