After high school, choosing a college to attend can be a major decision, but not many think about how hard it can be adjusting to a new environment. Some students choose to attend a school close to home and some move to another state or city for their education. After this decision, those who choose to travel away from home may not realize that they will yearn for their home. Homesickness is the longing feeling for an individual’s home while being away for some time. This can be a difficult time, especially for a student’s first year at college or first time being on their own in an unfamiliar setting. Homesickness can occur at any point and throughout time it can fade, but will not completely go away. Here are some tips for college students that can help deal with homesickness or make it easier to adjust and let the homesickness fade away.
1. Reaching Out and Being Honest
Connect with family and friends, whether it be FaceTiming, text messaging, social media, or even letters. Reaching out and telling them how much you miss them and home can help with these feelings of homesickness. Making an effort to stay in touch and being in the loop as to what is going on can create peace within the mind and body. Being open about how you feel and that you are suffering from homesickness can resolve these feelings. Feeling guilty for moving away can arise, but should not matter as it is for a good purpose. Sometimes being somewhere new can be challenging and won’t always be smooth sailing but sharing feelings is great since it makes you aware. Bottling emotions will cause more harm rather than good.
2. Bring Your Home with You
To help the transition, bring things from your home that will give you positive reminders. This should not be taken literally, but bring little reminders that will make you feel less apart from your home and family. Some items that can bring comfort may be a blanket that your grandpa gave you, your favorite teddy bear, or a piece of clothing from your parents. Hanging up pictures or posters can give your dorm a familiar feeling. Even bringing your favorite pillow or pajama set can make you feel more at home.
3.Keep Yourself Busy
Staying in your dorm can feel like a safe haven, but spending too much time inside can really put a damper on things. Building a routine to do from day to day can prevent homesickness. Such as waking up early, getting some breakfast before heading to class, and possibly fitting in a work out at the end of the day. Studying at the library instead of your room or getting involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs or sports helps too. Even getting a part-time job can also keep you busy and will keep those feelings of homesickness away.
4. Explore Your Surroundings
Exploring unfamiliar surroundings can help ease your feelings. Exploring the city the university is in can help you branch out and meet new people. This can also create familiarity and find fun activities in the area. Trying new places, going for walks, and seeing what is available on campus can be a great idea. Planning day trips to the city on your days off give you more time to find new places such as restaurants, fast food venues, or cool shopping stores. Upon doing this, it can make you feel less strange and foreign.
Moving to college is a big step and a huge milestone. There are many challenges that can occur while being on your own that can create homesickness, but these tips can help make the transition a little easier and keep these feelings of homesickness dissipated.