The start of a new semester is both exhilarating and stressful. One of the most common struggles of adjusting to the new semester is homesickness. Being a sophomore at Emerson, I have accumulated a few coping mechanisms and tips to make being away from home just a little bit easier.
Tip 1: Decorate your dorm with small items reminding you of home
It may be tempting to buy a whole array of new decorations for your room to make it unique. However, it is important to include items of which are important to you from home. This way, when you’re feeling sad and nostalgic, you can hug your childhood stuffed animal or stare at a picture of you and your family to calm yourself down. For example, I bought a small stuffed animal that my best friend Grace got me two years ago for my birthday. His name is Murphy and he helps keep me grounded if I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Tip 2: Before leaving for school, go on a shopping spree in your best friend’s closet
Before leaving home, I asked a few of my best friends from home if I could borrow a few of their clothing items when I went to college. When I tell you this method is a lifesaver, I mean it. My friend Jesse gave me his sweatshirt, and my other friend Phebe gave me a super comfy jacket. Whenever I’m missing home, or feeling alone on campus, I throw on one of their sweatshirts and it feels like they’re right there with me, hugging the stress away.
Tip 3: Keep in touch!
This tip is most likely the most important. . When your schedule is busy it tends to be difficult to make time for your friends on campus let alone your friends from home. Trust me when I say that nothing makes you feel worse than being out of loop with all the at-home drama. At least once a week, I make time to call my mom and a few of my friends from home . It tremendously improves my mood, and then when I go home, it feels as if no time has passed at all.
Tip 4: Explore the City!
On top of everything else, dwelling on your home life will tend to remove you from the present moment. Finding places around campus that make you feel at home is the best thing you can do. For example, whenever I’m feeling overburdened, I tend to walk along the Charles River by the Boston University campus. The breath of fresh air from the water surrounding me makes me feel content.
I hope all these tips are useful and make being away from home just a little bit easier. Overall, what helps me the most is knowing that what I’m feeling is common and I am not alone.