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Being independent

Moving to Groningen and embarking on student life involves a lot of changes. You’re suddenly on your own and must build up a new network and find your way around the city and the University. Feeling homesick or experiencing a culture shock can generate negative feelings that make it difficult to enjoy your new life as a student.

It’s natural to feel homesick, but some people suffer more than others. Being homesick can have a serious effect on your mental health. You might feel lonely and sad and find it difficult to make friends in this new setting. Loneliness, a lack of interpersonal relationships, causes stress and feelings of despair. But remember, you’re not the only one who feels lonely. It's a huge problem among students, and one that people are reluctant to talk about. But it is up to you to break out of this negative spiral of loneliness and discomfort!

Try to find times during the week when you really rub shoulders with other students. There are plenty of opportunities to do this. You could join, or even take on an active role, in your study association. Or you could take a course at the ACLO or the Usva, where group courses are available at very cheap prices. Suggest working together with someone from one of your seminars, or take part in a team sport at a sports club. However scary getting out and speaking to people may seem, it’s the only way to conquer loneliness. And it gets easier with practice.

If your feeling of isolation persists, your study advisor is there to help. Make an appointment, explain your situation and look for the solution together. Or you could take a look at the SSC website and sign up for a course in ‘Assertiveness training & social skills’ or the ‘Making contact’ workshop.

Source: Calimero

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Last modified:12 March 2020 6.55 p.m.
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