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A guide for new college students who are moving away from home for the first time

From firsthand experience, moving away can be thrilling at first. Freedom, fun and friends all await you at your new destination. However, you can’t seem to shake off the gloomy feeling. They say no place is like home …

Here’s how to bring that homey feeling to you.

1. Get A Community

It’s hard to feel at home when you don’t know anyone you’re living with. Making new friends can ease the unfamiliarity of your new environment while also allowing you to find a community. It may be hard at first, and by no means, do not go jump in your college’s local fountain shouting that you want to be friends with every stranger that passes by. Be open, be the first to speak, reach out a hand, join clubs! It always helps to find people who remind you of the place you left.

Once you find friends, find activities to do …

2. Get Busy

Mind out of the gutter, people, I meant find things to do. On campuses, there are a multitude of activities going on each day. Take up some hobbies. Always wanted to learn how to knit? Take up knitting classes provided by your local university. Take walks to explore campus. Attend football games and cheer on your team, regardless of their ability to win a game. Go to class. This is an easy way to stay on top of school work, yet keeps you distracted from the long distance.

florida state football field
Original photo by Lauren Sparling

3. Stay Connected

If you find yourself missing home, don’t feel bad. It’s natural and it’s an emotion that is completely valid. Don’t be afraid to reach out. There are so many ways to connect with the people at home. Create a FaceTiming schedule or call spontaneously. More likely than not, they miss you too. It’s okay to feel sad and cry. I did. Just remember, you are here for a new start, and more often than not you’ll find yourself reminiscing on memories you made at home. Home is where the heart is, and your heart is the only thing that didn’t change.

4. FInd things that remind you of home

It’s easy to feel uncomfortable when you don’t recognize the surroundings. Bring things that give your dorm a homey vibe. Collect pictures, get a essential diffuser that omits the same smell as your house, bring your favorite blanket that you’ve had since you were three. Create the comfortable environment, and it may be easy to fall asleep at night. Bring a stuffed animal, not an actual one … that’s a story for another day. Bring home to you—it may help you feel connected at such a long distance.

Dorm room
Original photo by Raquele Decker

Making yourself comfortable can ease you into making an easier transition. It’s not a shame to feel homesick, so embrace the feelings and find ways that help you. When Christmas Break comes around, you might be glad that you made the distance.

I am a Freshman majoring in Psychology on the Pre-Med track who loves sharing my many opinions on Pop-Culture!
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