Feeling Homesick? Then get moving!


Sport editor Jack Pethick evaluates the mental as well as physical benefits that exercise can cause, particularly in dealing with homesickness and anxiety issues.

With all the fun and craziness of Freshers now at an end, many of you may be starting to feel the post-freshers blues sinking in, causing feelings of anxiety and homesickness. These are perfectly natural feelings to be having at this time, and it affects all- whether you are a fresher or a post-graduate, everyone will experience such feelings from time to time. Starting a new life or returning to a life at university naturally generates excitement, anticipation and anxiety.

For many, this apprehension is quickly overcome as they adapt to a new environment, but for others the transition from home to university life takes longer and sometimes emerges as homesickness. Many of these people will just want to get under the blankets and be upset over the loss of what is familiar and secure: most often it is about the loss of people – family and friends – but it is also about the loss of places and routines, and the realisation that family life continues without you. Obviously the extent to which you will be affected by homesickness will differ from person to person, and for those of you feeling especially homesick sport may be the answer in helping relieve some of these feelings.

In today’s society there is so much emphasis placed on the physical benefits of regular exercise, when in fact the psychological benefits are arguably much more important than achieving that six-pack. Research has shown that partaking in regular exercise gives us a mental and emotional boost. It improves your mood, bolsters your self-esteem and gives you the confidence to handle whatever comes your way.

As I am sure many of you are aware, chemicals called endorphins are produced in the brain and released into the body. The word endorphin is abbreviated from the phrase ‘endogenous morphine’ which means morphine produced naturally by the body. Endorphins are thought to relieve stress and pain naturally, giving you an euphoric and invigorating feeling- I’m sure many of you have had that buzzing feeling after a good work out at the gym or after a match.

Other theories focus more on the indirect effects of exercise. Many psychologists find that exercise may create a distraction and provide an outlet from feelings of stress, anxiety or homesickness and therefore positively enhancing one’s mental condition.

Moving away from the scientific elements and benefits of exercise, there are also many social benefits that one can gain from partaking in exercise- particularly a team sport. I personally have always found that the best way to make a friend is to go and play a game of football or another sport with them. The natural sense of camaraderie found in sport means that you will make lots of friends quickly, helping you to relieve some of those feelings of homesickness.

The important thing is to remember that such feelings are most of the time  just a temporary thing, and soon you will feel like University is your home from home. Stay active and distracted and soon those post-freshers blues will be a thing of the past.

Oh and just in case you weren’t persuaded enough to get going, here are another 20 beneficial  reasons  to get moving:

1.) Reduces body fat

2.) Increases lifespan

3.) Oxygenates the body

4.) Strengthens muscles

5.) Manages chronic pain

6.) Wards off viruses

7.) Reduces diabetes risk

8.) Strengthens  heart

9.) Clears arteries

10.) Boosts mood

11.) Maintains mobility

12.) Improves  memory

13.) Improves coordination

14.) Strengthens bones

15.) Improves complexion

16.) Detoxifies the body

17.) Decreases stress

18.) Boosts the immune system

19.) Lowers blood pressure

20.) Reduces cancer risk


Jack Pethick. Sport Editor 2014-2016. Third-Year History student. Mainly write for the Sport section but dabble in writing News and Features. General Armchair pundit and lover of all things Sport. #WouldDoABetterJobThanCarragher

Leave A Reply