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To Sam

Homesickness

My school is holding a ski trip in April. All my friends are so excited but i am dreading it. I will get so homesick and i really don‘t know what to do!! Help me!

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Sam

Hi there,

Spending time away from home can sometimes feel scary and it’s natural to feel homesick when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. Remember, you won’t be away forever and there are things you can do to help you to feel better.

There are lots of situations where you might need to stay away from home either for a short time, like having a sleep over or going on a school trip or sometimes longer like going away to boarding school, college or university. Whatever the reason it’s important to recognise how you feel and not to give yourself a hard time. Feeling homesick isn’t a weakness and it affects a lot of young people.

When you’re missing familiar surroundings it can help to have reminders of things from home, like photos or something from your bedroom that’s a comfort to you. This could be something like your favourite pyjamas or book.

You might feel left out when your friends are excited and looking forward to a trip but you’re feeling worried or unhappy. It can help to tell them how you’re feeling so that they know it’s not as easy for you and you might find some of your friends are feeling anxious too, even if they’re excited at the same time.

Try to focus on the positives about being away and see it as an adventure. This is a chance to do some sightseeing, practice a new language, learn new skills and mix with new people. Distracting yourself can help you to feel less homesick and the more you’re able to mix with others and keep busy the less time you’ll be actually thinking about home.

If you’re struggling while you’re away you can talk to an adult on the trip to get support straight away. Keeping things to yourself can sometimes make them feel worse. You might want to make a call home to hear familiar voices but messaging or texting might feel easier. Try to make the call or message short and don’t call too often. That way, you’ll feel connected without starting to feel like you miss them more.

Remember that you can still contact Childline online while you’re away. You won't be able to call but your usual Childline account should still work. You can also still read any of my letters and look at the information and advice pages.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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