Most people wonder whether they will miss home as they pack up their belongings to take to university for the first time. I am about to go into third year and even I still remember that one of the questions that I sent to my college parents before I even arrived was ‘how often do people tend to go home?’.
I can now say from experience that it really varies. I certainly saw my parents and sister a lot more in my first year than in second. Whether it was me heading home to Birmingham on the weekend (sometimes for a long weekend if I didn’t have contact hours on Friday or Monday) or them driving up to spend the day with me, I remember seeing them maybe three times in the very short eight week period of my first term, not including the days they dropped me off and picked me up for term. Yet, in my very busy third term of first year, with coursework and exams to contend with, I didn’t visit home at all – my photos, stuffed animal, posters and other items from home enough to keep me from homesickness.
Most of my friends at Oxford visit home once a term, depending on how they are feeling, how busy they are and how far away they live, but I also know people who have never visited home during term at all and slightly rarer, others who head home most weekends.
Ultimately each person is different, but a great thing about Oxford specifically is that during term you will nearly always be busy, not only with academic work but with a jam-packed social calendar of events, plans to explore colleges, go to concerts and punt and even the time spent chatting with friends in the kitchen for a ridiculous number of hours. In my experience you hardly have time to be too homesick, especially once first term has passed and you have found your friends. Term always flies by and before you know it you’ll be back home again for the vacation, counting down the days until you’ll be back in Oxford again.