Being away from home for the first time can be hard especially when you don’t live close enough to visit often. It’s been two months since school has begun and Thanksgiving break is still about a month and a half away. For many college students, their first time returning home during the semester is Thanksgiving and that can feel like an eternity for some.
If you’re feeling homesick you’re not alone. My freshman year of college I was extremely homesick and I did not know how to deal with it. I thought about taking a semester off and just coming home because I had never been away from my family for so long. It was very hard for me, but I made it through. It wasn’t easy, but here’s how I did it.
- Called my mom when it felt unbearable
Not being able to see my mom every day was definitely one of the hardest parts of being away from home for the first time. Even though I called her each day, sometimes when I was in my room at night the homesickness would get worse. When I was really missing home, I would call my mom in the middle of the night. Just hearing her voice would make me feel better.
- Found new shows to binge
When I couldn’t call my mom, I would binge-watch my favorite television shows. Finding something to binge that I had never seen before always kept me entertained enough to keep my mind off things. I was always really into suspenseful shows that kept me wondering what would happen next and I would get so wrapped up in my favorite show that for a moment I would forget about how much I missed home. My favorite show I binge-watched that year has to be Dexter.
- Hung out with friends to get my mind off things
Sometimes the best way to get your mind off of home is going out and having a great time with friends. Every day I used to eat dinner with my friends in the dining hall and we would often go out after dinner and spend all night together. Even though I missed my family, making sure I got out of my room and had social interactions each day made things more bearable.
- Got involved on campus
Joining clubs and getting involved on campus was an amazing way for me to constantly meet new people and have something to do on a consistent basis. It also helped me feel like I belonged on campus. Being in organizations and having the opportunity to speak with so many people helped me realize that I was not alone in what I was feeling. I realized that I wasn’t the only one who dealt with homesickness their freshman year and it’s normal.
- Ate foods that reminded me of home
Something I always missed was the food my parents would cook for me at home. Thankfully, the dining hall on my campus had some of those same foods. However, if I was missing something that my dining hall did not have I would find a restaurant off campus that served some of the foods I was used to eating back home. This always made me feel a little closer to home and it helped me miss home a little less.
- Self Care Days
Self-care is the best care. Treating myself for simply getting through the week or taking a test always made me feel better. Most of the time it was something simple like going to the hair salon, eating my favorite food, getting ice cream, or just taking the night off from homework and just watching my favorite show. I realized that the more overwhelmed I was, the more I wanted to go home. If I was relaxed and rested, I was able to remind myself that I came to college to learn to be independent and that I would be okay.
- Counted down the days until I went home
Even though it seems like creating a countdown may not help, it helped me know that I was getting closer and closer to finally being able to go home. Doing this also gave me the opportunity to have something to look forward to and the closer I got to going home, the less homesick I was. It also made me feel accomplished because I realized that I had successfully been away from home for so long even though sometimes I thought I couldn’t do it.
Even though the feeling of missing home never goes away, it definitely gets easier. If you’re feeling homesick don’t be afraid to talk to others about it. Hopefully, this article is able to help you find ways to feel a little better.