How to Cope with Homesickness
The myOptions Team
It’s time to enter a new chapter of your life and embark on a new journey—college. You’re probably feeling a little anxious-excited. You know, that feeling when you are really looking forward to something, but there’s a 50/50 chance you might throw up everywhere. No worries! We’ve got your back AND Pepto-Bismol.
Though your life is about to change in a lot of ways, you are entering a chapter of complete self discovery. You’re going to be in a new environment, meeting new people, adjusting to a workload that you may not be used to, and becoming independent with each passing day. A part of this journey may call for you to be away from your family. Whether you’re close to home or halfway across the world, it’s going to take some time to adapt.
1. Try not to dwell on your feelings of sadness!
Don’t hole up in your room; instead, wander around campus and familiarize with your surroundings. After all, this is going to be your home for the next four years should you choose to stay. You should also get better acquainted with your roommate(s), since they will become a part of your everyday life now. A lot of campuses host enjoyable events for incoming freshman to socialize. (There is typically free food involved, so definitely take advantage of that). Meeting new people and having fun will surely take your mind off of things.
2. Take advantage of your independence (using discretion, of course)
Keep an eye out for organizations on your campus that may peak your interest. Being involved is beneficial for your resume, a great means of connecting with peers, and a way to enjoy yourself by taking part in something that strikes your passion. All these tips will alleviate feelings of homesickness and stress.
3. It is also okay to enjoy time by yourself.
You’re independent now, and while being alone might seem like it would make you more homesick, it’s important to take time to explore who you are and what you enjoy doing now that you’re away from your family. Don’t feel awkward if you want to take a trip to the dining hall by yourself—it’s totally normal. If your school has a gym, get yourself into a workout routine. (Gym memberships are actually expensive IRL. So take advantage of the one that’s included with your tuition!). Taking time to yourself will allow you to grow as an individual, and thus reducing homesickness.
4. Do not travel home every weekend.
If you live close to home, it’s tempting to travel back for a quick weekend. However, if you travel home every chance you get, you are missing out on developing relationships and experiencing everything your university has to offer. In order to immerse yourself in the college experience, you need to grow accustomed to being on campus and developing a routine. So, let yourself have some space.
5. Keep things in perspective.
There will be occasions for your family to come visit, and you always have the ability to FaceTime or call home. Eventually, you will be so adjusted to your unique, stimulating lifestyle, you won’t even have time to feel homesick. Whether you are describing this new transition to your parents or sharing wild stories with your siblings, you will certainly have a lot to talk about. And that will make reconnecting with your family so much sweeter.
These changes and transitions may take some time. Be patient with yourself and don’t push away feelings of homesickness; it will happen naturally. Your family will miss you just as much as you miss them, if not more, but it’s just a part of life to leave the nest. These years will fly by, so enjoy your time in college!