College is hard, and college can be really lonely. But these feelings of homesickness are ones that everyone has experienced at some point during their college career. Even with a million things happening at once on campus, sometimes it just feels like there really is no place like home. And with the COVID-19 restrictions and with still nearly a month left before Thanksgiving Break, these feelings have really started to weigh down on us. But you are not alone in these feelings, and sometimes the best way to face them is remembering that very fact.
As we make it through this last stretch before going home, we have been reflecting on the ways that we have beeing dealing with homesickness.
- Elizabeth Berry, ’21
During my first-year at Connecticut College, I struggled with homesickness. Unlike first-years in the class of 2024, I was able to go home on the weekends and more regularly see my parents who could visit campus without any restrictions or health concerns. While I had not yet found my “group” at college, I was still able to attend SAC events, visit other dorms with my own camel card, and eat with my peers in the dining halls. Even with these privileges, I still felt lonely and homesick, so I cannot imagine how first-years must be feeling right now. As a senior, I still feel homesick, especially after being on campus for almost nine weeks now without a Fall Break, when I would normally go home to see my parents. Living in a single (which I can decorate to feel like home) and my friends on the same floor has certainly helped, but this does not necessarily apply for first-years. That being said, my biggest piece of advice for students who are feeling homesick is to be honest with yourself, your parents, your friends back home, and your friends, peers, and professors at Conn. Social media can so often gloss over reality to the point where you feel like you are the only one missing home. But I can promise you that you are NOT alone in feeling homesick; in fact bonding over this feeling can make you feel better because by talking with someone else you are building your own Conn family. However, if your homesickness is becoming overwhelming, I recommend reaching out to the counseling services at Conn by emailing them at [email protected].
- Sarah Hennig, ’24
I personally feel like we are at an awkward stage in the semester. We are over 2 months in, and as a freshman, I am now fairly well adjusted. I have a routine, I am getting used to my college workload, and have found some really good friends. However, we still have a little less than a month left, and for some reason, that feels like an insurmountable amount of time. I have been feeling more homesick lately. It feels like we are so close yet so far to Thanksgiving and our months-long break afterward. Normally when I start to feel homesick I try to push through the feelings and distract myself with work. This normally ends up worsening my situation because the emotions only grow when ignored. I have found it most helpful to acknowledge my feelings of homesickness and then make time to talk to my family on the phone. It is also very helpful for me to talk to my friends about it. Whenever I am homesick I always feel like I am all alone. Talking to my friends makes me realize that they are experiencing the same emotions as I am and that we are all in this together.
- Ellie Wagner, ’23
My first year at Conn was pretty hard for me in terms of feeling homesick. I had never been away from my parents for more than a week at a time, and it was a huge adjustment. One of the best things that really helped me out was getting to know people in my residence hall and my floor. I was in an all-first-year dorm, so we all went through orientation together. Everyone on my floor was really close, and it was nice to see a friendly face when I would come home at the end of the day. It also meant that I didn’t need to go far to find someone to talk to or hang out with. This year, it was a little harder to find friends on my floor due to COVID restrictions, and the fact that we are all different ages (I think I’m the only sophomore on my floor). I’ve been leaning more on my sailing team and my friends there when I’m homesick. It is one of the few times I actually can interact with people in-person outside of class, and sailing actually feels relatively normal in a time when so many things are different than they have been in past years. For other athletes, I really recommend making connections with your teammates and coaches, because they can become almost like your “college family”. For non-athletes, try to find a club or other group you can join. Even people in your classes can end up being some of your closest friends.
- Lara Beckius, ’24
We’ve reached the half-way point of my first college semester, and the exhilaration and excitement of being away from home for the first time is beginning to wear off. Despite having plenty to do and many new friends, I’m starting to miss my home—and my mom. No matter if you live an hour away (like I do) or halfway around the world, most students experience this feeling during their first year of college. However, there are many techniques to combat homesickness that I will be using during these last 20-ish days before we go home and resume remote-learning. First, I will be calling and FaceTiming my mom and other family members to talk about my life and hear updates from home. Calling my friends from high-school will be just as important, since most of them are already studying remotely. Also, my friends and family have been sending me notes in the mail. This is a tradition I will be continuing up until we leave in November. I love both receiving things in the mail and writing notes that will make someone’s day. Finally, despite the slight longing to go home, I will be immersing myself in the college experience as much as I possibly can these last few weeks. Spending time with my new friends and making new memories will definitely help ease the homesickness ache. I’m looking forward to all that will come my way the last few in-person days of this semester.
Homesickness is something that all of us at some point have faced, especially when we are on our way at school. It’s easy to feel isolated and lonely, but remember you are not alone with this feeling. Although everyone has a slightly different way of handling it, we hope these tips will help you feel a little better and help you the next time you need to combat those homesick feelings.