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Wellness > Mental Health

How to Get Out of a Depressive State Being Away From Home

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

Image by Svetlana Larshina

My first week at college was completely not how I imagined it was going to be. I was excited because I was finally going to a new place I’ve never been and meet new people. But, my first taste of the college life was not like Grown-ish or A Different World. I found myself alone and missing home a lot more than I thought I would. I spent the most crucial part of college, where you’re supposed to be making new friends and getting acquainted with your campus, in my room. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. But, I was able to pick myself back up and so can you. Here’s how.

1. Stay in touch with friends and family

When you’re going through a depressive state, it’s very easy to start isolating yourself. One way that helped me feel better about being away from home was talking to my family. I’m the first person in my family to go to college, so it felt like no one would understand how I felt about being away at college. However, my parents made sure to let me know that they were still there for me. Sometimes, talking to someone you’re familiar with can help you feel less alone.

2. get involved on campus

Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet people and get acquainted with the culture and environment of your campus. My freshman year, I joined almost every club I saw a flyer for on social media and it made the rest of the year more bearable. But, getting involved on campus doesn’t always mean joining clubs. You could also just attend events your school is hosting. Before I made any friends, I would go to seminars and workshops by myself and I got to meet celebrities and learn new skills. Going out, enjoying the sun and the campus, and being social could help you out of your depressive state and lead you to new and fun experiences.

3. Talk to a therapist

This step is probably the hardest if you’ve never been to therapy before. It took me awhile to muster the courage to go to the counselor’s office at my college, but I’m happy I did. If your school offers free counseling sessions, it would be a good idea to take advantage of it. But, I also understand talking to someone about your feelings is not for everyone. Before I started to go to therapy, I would journal about my problems. I feel like journaling helped me feel more confident about going to therapy because it helped me figure out my emotions and how to communicate them to other people. So, if you don’t feel confident about going to therapy now, try journaling or recording yourself talking about your problems. Some schools and therapists offer over-the-phone or online therapy if talking in person is also a barrier.

4. make the best of your time

The most annoying piece of advice people kept giving me when I first got to college was, “College is what you make it.” Even though it was very annoying, it was still true. Now, what makes your time the “best” is up to you. For me, what made my time here better was going outside and sitting by our school’s waterfront, spending time in the library, and getting out of my comfort zone. I would also plan cute little solo dates, like picnics, shopping, going out to eat, and exploring the city. It’s a pretty general statement, but once you take the step to get out of your bed, you’ll eventually figure out what is going to make your college experience better.

It’s normal to feel down and alone when you first get to college. It’s a completely different experience than high school and it can be a lot to deal with. And it’s going to take time to get used to this experience. All these suggestions may not work for you, but don’t worry! You’ll find out what works for you eventually. But, remember to be patient with and kind to yourself.

For more advice on how to get out of a depressive state while being away from home, you could check out “Getting Out of a Funk: How t Help Yourself Through Depression”.

Deja Jones

Hampton U '26

Hi! My name is Deja Jones and I’m a second year political science major at Hampton University. I’m from St. Louis. I love music, fashion, and writing about music and fashion!