Anna Schultz-Black And White Girl From Behind

The Freshman Guide to Homesickness

Even if you’re an incoming freshman who has been eagerly counting down the days until you can leave for college, homesickness will still sneak up on you in your years away from friends and family. Albeit, over time you will forge new friendships and find a little family of your own on campus. I’m a fifth-year student and I still find myself missing my family and friends back in Michigan. It’s important to find ways to deal with the inevitable sadness from time to time of missing your loved ones.

  1. 1. Print pictures from home

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    Prior to moving into my freshman dorm, I printed off over a dozen of my favorite pictures from home. I had photos with my most loved family members, goofy pictures of friends and I from high school, and a few of the beach I was so desperately missing from my hometown. My side of the dorm was basically one big picture book. However, this helped me in hard times to look over at my desk or my bedside and have an instant smile arise from these happy memories.

  2. 2. Check in often with loved ones

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    While making friends in the dorms is a fun and exciting experience, your heart will still ache for your best gal pals from home. My best friends and I texted each other every week or so with texts as simple as “Hope you’re having a great day, I miss you!” Receiving or sending texts like these would brighten my day, and I knew it was brightening theirs, too. Checking in doesn’t always have to be a long phone conversation where you dish everything from the past month (although, these are important at times too), but sometimes it’s just as easy as letting them know you’re thinking of them. This can work for family members too!

  3. 3. Call your parents when you're having a bad day

    Woman with curly hair waving and saying hi to someone through her laptop.

    Don’t underestimate the healing powers of your mom or dad (or in my case, my grandma) telling you everything is going to be okay. College is hard and can be extremely stressful on your brain and soul. After a long day where you just want a hug from your parents, give them a call and tell them all about it. You’ll feel better to talk about it, and your parents will love to hear from you and help you through the hard times.

  4. 4. Visit home if possible

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    In my first year of college I lived only an hour away from my mom. I would often go see her on weekends to do laundry and just catch up. It’s a huge privilege if your parents are a drivable distance! Nowadays, living several states away from all of my family, it’s important for me to have trips planned home to look forward to. Plan far in advance to get the best air fare prices! It helps during hard times to have a countdown of knowing when you’ll see your family again. 

College is an exciting, life changing experience, but that doesn’t mean you won’t miss the simpler days of lounging on the couch at home with your family or friends. Finding ways to cope with these occasional feelings will help you to branch out in your new environment and create a brand new friend group in your temporary home.