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Sad when sibling goes to university

In a few months my older sister is going to university. It's quite far away so I won't be able to see her often so I'm going to really miss her. There has never been a time when she has gone away for a long period of time so I'm really worried about how well she is going to take care of herself. How can I support her and deal with this huge change?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s natural to feel sad when there’s a big change in your life or someone else's you're close to.  A friend or sibling going to university will mean things'll be different for both of you and it can help to talk to each other about how you’re feeling and what will be different.

There are a lot of things she’ll need to sort out like accommodation and finances and you might feel left out if she's busy organising things for university. It can help to let your sibling know you’re going to miss her and you’d like to spend some time with her before she goes so that you can plan things you both enjoy.

You could make something for her to take to university that'll remind her of home - like a playlist of her favourite songs, recordings of messages from you and your family or a photo album to either print or message to her. You could offer some practical support by helping her to pack or doing some meal plans for their first few weeks if she will be cooking for herself.

It’s a big change when someone you see every day's no longer there, but it can be positive as well. Being apart means that you both grow in different ways and when you do come back together, you can share stories and experiences. Having limited time together can often mean you make the most of it and make it special.

It’s okay to send messages while she’s away but it’s also important to let her settle in. It can help for you to do other things too so that you’re not spending a lot of your time missing her. Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling and try to arrange more outings or activities together, especially in the first few weeks, so that you keep busy and you have company and support.

I hope this advice has helped and you can always talk to a Childline counsellor or get support from other young people on the message boards.

Thank you for writing to me.

Take care,


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