How to Ward Off Homesickness

No matter how emotionally strong you are, homesickness will inevitably hit you if you stay in a residential college, miles away from home. It may not hit you instantly, because it’s easy to see the good side of college in the first week. Orientation week keeps you busy, and you wonder why people complain about being away from home when you get to party all the time and eat whatever you want, whenever you want (or end up not eating, most of the time).

Slowly, though, you start feeling this dull ache inside that calls out to home. Suddenly, partying doesn’t seem so much fun anymore, and you start preferring being holed up in your room, trying to pretend that this is home and that everything is okay until, of course, you realize that it isn’t. Homesickness isn’t something you can just get rid of, but something you need to learn how to live with. Here are a few things that usually help:


1. Go out: The one thing that makes homesickness worse is staying in your room all the time. Even if you think you don’t have friends, go out and sit on the grass, under the sun, all by yourself. It will make you feel a 1000 times better, even if just for a while. Chances are, you will even run into an acquaintance this way and being with someone else always, always helps.


2. Talk to your friends: If you do have friends, go talk to them. Never think that you might be bothering them because they most definitely would have experienced the same feeling, at some point or other. Each one of you is away from home and no one is immune to homesickness. Don’t be afraid to Tell your friends if you are feeling low, without the fear of being judged.

3. Cry it out: Crying makes you feel lighter, even if it makes you feel shitty in the beginning. Scientifically speaking, crying causes the release of endorphins—our body’s natural pain killer—and this makes you feel better. Bawl your eyes out, and don’t feel weak if you do.


4. Talk, talk, and talk: Speak to the people back home, be it your parents, friends, or siblings. You don’t necessarily have to tell them how you’re feeling because it is natural that you don’t want to worry them. But only just hearing their voice, asking you if you’re okay and assuring you that everything will be fine, is enough at times. Remind yourself that you’ll be seeing them soon during vacations (no matter how far away this ‘soon’ seems) and till then, keep yourself busy. Know that it’s okay to feel homesick and that the toughest of us face it, too. It gets better with time, and at one point, you do learn to live with it. At one point, the homesickness almost starts feeling like home.