Going to college or university for the first time can be an incredibly daunting experience. Not only are you faced with an entirely new chapter in your life, but you may even be moving far away from home to get there. It is natural to feel a little uneasy, even a little sick at the thought of being so far away from everything you know, on your own. This is especially true if you have never lived out of home before. Studies are important, but so is your comfortability and feelings about your environment. In fact, studies have shown that students who are not comfortable in their primary environments during their studying years do not perform as well as those who are comfortable in their natural environments.

If you want to purchase a research paper to get some insight into the perfect way to structure essays or use academic referencing, or create or join a study group to get in those extra hours of revision then by all means, do that. Organisation and dedication are key to exceeding at your studies. When life on campus starts to get busy, it can be easy to forget you aren’t home, but for those moments when first getting to campus feels like the loneliest, most unnatural place in the world, there are three tips that will help you feel at home – even if you are thousands of miles away from home.

Take some of home with you to university

Bring a piece of home with you. This could technically mean any number of things, but specifically it could be photographs, your family’s favourite foods, a favourite toy from when you were little, your favourite books, a plush toy version of your pet/s, or even an item of clothing that belongs to your partner. All these things will feel familiar, and therefore comforting. It definitely helps to have something familiar to hold onto when unfamiliarity surrounds you. Something as simple as studying in your partner’s tee-shirt can make you feel like you are not so far away after all.

Invite your loved ones up for the weekend

Being far away from loved ones is hard, and college or university is the perfect place to meet new people, but there is something comforting about having your inner circle close by. Inviting your family, best friends, pets, and partner up for a few days can give you the fill of home you need, realign your mindset for the week ahead, and motivate you to smash out your assessment – there is nothing like a dose of home to remind you why you came to university, after all. Better yet, go home for a surprise visit and come back in time for classes to resume on Monday.

Keep in touch with your family – even when you are busy

Call your sibling during your study break. Making the time to stay connected to your loved ones is the glue that will hold you together on tough days – and you will have tough days. Going to college or university is bound to have its fair share of rough moments, and you will not be able to focus sometimes when these moments present themselves. Instead of forcing yourself to try to study (and producing half-value work as a result), take a step back, go for a walk, call your brother or sister, and revisit the study when you have had a good chat.