It’s not abnormal to experience a bit of homesickness when you’re away at college. It’s something almost every single person feels at one time or another, and it's especially true for students who are studying abroad or even in their own country. Living in student apartments can make you feel alienated or even detached from your home. However, there are ways to fight the homesick blues!
Go Back to the Basics
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first step is to buy furniture (assuming your new digs aren’t pre-furnished). Sleeping on just a mattress and eating your microwave pizza on the floor can be disheartening and make you feel like an unwanted visitor in your own home!
Make sure you get a bedframe, a desk, and some nice-looking bookshelves for your personal dwellings. Talk to your roomies, too! See if they’re willing to chip in to provide furniture for common areas, like couches and a kitchen table. If you're on a budget, you may be able to find cheap secondhand furniture on Craigslist or at your local thrift store. Having places to just sit down and relax will make a house (or apartment) feel like home.
Decorate Your Space
Furniture alone won’t make your apartment feel like home. While it might be frowned upon to decorate common areas with personal objects (it depends on what you and the other tenants are comfortable with), there is absolutely nothing stopping you from decorating your bedroom (or your side of the bedroom) however you’d like! Put up photos of your family and friends, get posters showcasing the beauty your hometown has to offer, and make your space cozy.
Just because you may not want to put your personal belongings out in the open doesn’t mean that it’s going to be hard to decorate! Finding paintings and photos at second-hand stores, putting up lighting, and putting some throw pillows on the couch are all great ways to make your apartment feel more welcoming. If you want wall art, investing in some washi tape is a great way to add some color to your walls without having to worry about damaging the walls or chipping the paint. Make sure you know what the apartment rules allow to avoid forfeiting your damage deposit.
Gather Favorite Recipes
Food is inherently tied to culture and togetherness. Food brings humans together, and in some cases, can even tear them apart (remember, if you will, the pineapple pizza debate). Food is an important part of many of our lives, and it’s important to recreate the foods you have become accustomed to. Ask your family members for your favorite recipes and recreate them in the kitchen!
Of course, not all your favorite dishes are family recipes. Some come from restaurants that may be local to your hometown. There are thankfully many options to combat those cravings! One of the easiest may be searching for a “copycat recipe” online. Many restaurants even offer their specialty sauces at grocery stores or have their famous burritos shipped to you. If you can't find something similar, find a new favorite restaurant near you and make some new memories!
Infuse Your Space with Scents
Is there a certain scent that makes you feel like you’re home? Perhaps nothing makes you feel like you’re safe and sound in your house when you smell your mom’s cinnamon buns on a Sunday morning. Maybe you miss catching whiffs of garden flowers from your bedroom back home. Whatever scent brings you back home, invest in a way to infuse your space with that smell. If you aren’t able to burn candles in your apartment, there are other options! Oil diffusers, wax melts, and candle warmers are all excellent alternatives to candle burning.
How StudentRoomStay Can Help
Finding the housing situation can be difficult. At StudentRoomStay, we pride ourselves on building the future of student accommodation. When looking for student housing, we are your one-stop-shop. Whether you’re looking for a private room, a homestay, or apartments for students, StudentRoomStay has you covered.
We're here for you—don't hesitate to reach out with all your questions about studying abroad, college housing or homestay for international students!