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Missing home? Here are four ways to combat homesickness in Edinburgh

There’s nothing like the November scaries to get you craving home comforts

Edinburgh is a wonderful city, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer midterm stress and tiredness-induced pangs for your mum’s cooking, local sights, and of course, your friends from home. Lots of us unfortunate souls whose degrees don’t permit reading weeks have had the joy of watching our friends head home. Never fear, there are countless ways you can recreate the things you miss in Edinburgh and make it through the rest of the semester happy and settled.

Here are a few ways I avoid homesickness:

1. Cook a dinner for your friends

This is both a perfect excuse to get people you love round for a chat and a wholesome way of creating a home away from home. Ask your parents for your favourite recipe of theirs, visit BBC good food, or take it as an excuse to scroll TikTok and treat your friends!

Perfect combination of gals, vino, and Spanakopita!

Not feeling too chef-like or lacking inspiration from your grotty, ten-person, student accommodation kitchen? You can do much worse than a supermarket dinner deal and it has to be said that the M&S one is quite reasonable… Although I’m sure this will be common knowledge for lots of our Edinburgh population.

The aforementioned attempt at a dreamy, Greek, sundried tomato Spanakopita.

To divide the cooking workload, perhaps give your friends the smaller tasks of drinks, sides, or dessert to take care of.
If you still aren’t convinced, consider that beyond getting to enjoy this feast, you are almost certain to have leftovers, a big win in my book and a real benefit of hosting.

2. Do something separate to uni

Whether you are suffering from homesickness or general stress and blues, there is a real merit to getting yourself out to nature. This could be as simple as going on a walk, perhaps around Arthur’s Seat or Blackford Hill, or even taking a day trip by train or bus (free) from Edinburgh, the options here are endless! You could go and visit Pentland hills, Glasgow, St Andrews, or North Berwick.

Rare evidence of sunshine in November! Enjoying the Hermitage of Braid.

The key thing about these breaks is that no work is allowed, it is only in allowing yourself time entirely separate to a lengthy to-do list that you can truly relax and, I’m sure, manage it better on returning.

Cramond Island is another must!

Another aspect of this, is connecting with local life outside of your studies. Whether this is getting a job, in an agency, or simply chatting to your neighbours and visiting the families of your friends who live near by. This will help Edinburgh feel homely with a broader community and also provide a handy distraction from the homesickness.

3. Talk to your friends

For the most part, everyone at uni will experience homesickness at some point in their degree. It should not be a taboo that you fear will render you a soppy mummy’s boy or weak in any way. The majority of us spent eighteen years in a safe environment and it’s perfectly normal to miss this, especially in times of stress and upheaval.

For freshers in particular, homesickness can be a really bonding experience with flatmates and friends. Go for coffee or a pint, or have a cosy night in and chat about how you are feeling, and if this gets too much to bear, please do reach out to the uni services, there’s lots of information on the wellbeing hub page.

4. Keep in touch with your family and home friends

Neither Facetime nor texting will ever be the same as a good old face-to-face natter, however, it’s as close as we can get. A habit I have started recently with some of my closest home friends, is a weekly sum-up – every Sunday we share 10 photos that show what we’ve been up to that week. Not only is it very entertaining and reminds you to take photos of fun events, but it also provides easy topics of communication without any paragraphs needed. Chats over text can feel stilted, even with people you have known and loved for years, this takes the onus off either of you popping the dreaded “wyd?” text.

It was the New College library, Grayson Perry’s exhibit, truly yummy, and yes I broke our tv…