You have planned ahead for every aspect of your new life at college. You have books, you have a shower caddy, you have a new computer, and your very own mini-fridge. You feel prepared and ready to take on this whole new world but there is one thing you may not have planned for – being homesick.
Starting college is such an exciting time in life that it can be difficult to imagine ever longing for the comforts and familiarity of home. But as many college freshman find out, homesick often hits when you least expect it. However, like most other new college experiences, with a little planning and preparation, you will be ready to tackle your homesickness head on before it can drag you down.
Here are some helpful tips to help you manage better when you find you are missing home.
One thing homesick students do is spend too much time in their room. They Skype with their friends from home, talk to their family on the phone, and spend a lot of time looking back at what they are missing out on. Unfortunately, this keeps them from making new friends, finding new communities, and creating a home away from home that will help get homesick feelings from becoming overwhelming. Instead of staying in your room, go to the student union, the library, the quad, a coffee shop, or really anywhere that gets you out into your new world.
Take Some Time
While it is important to immerse yourself in your new life, it is also important to acknowledge your feelings. It is perfectly normal to miss home, friends, family, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. And once in awhile it is okay to just let yourself feel that longing for the things you love. It’s okay to be sad and to struggle. Just make sure this is a “some time” thing, and not an all the time thing. If you find yourself spending more days feeling sad, it’s time to focus on your future and leave your past alone for a little while.
One reason you may be feeling homesick is because it takes time to make the kind of connections you had back home and it was easier to connect with people in high school. But you can create your own community full of new connections with a little effort. Start by visiting the office on campus that manages student activities and asking for a list of clubs, groups, and organizations. College campuses have so many diverse activities and groups to join you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something that looks interesting. Once you have a couple clubs or groups in mind, try them out and see if you can find a couple where you feel like you fit.
One of the most important things to remember when you start missing home is that everyone feels like this to some degree. It doesn’t mean you aren’t ready for college or that you are being a baby. It simply means that you have a great life filled with wonderful people that will only be enhanced by the new friendships and communities you create on campus.