For many of us, we become used to living in the same space for most of our lives. We become used to calling the same state, town, city, house and people our home. However, by going away to college, we say goodbye to what is comfortable and start a whole new, foreign chapter in our lives. For the next four years, each year becomes a new definition of home. A new dorm, a new house, new people or even a new country becomes our new home and we have to learn to adapt. Here are a few tips and tricks to making your new space feel like home.
1. Bring pictures of the ones you love and the places that remind you of home.
This one may seem obvious, but seeing the smiling faces of the ones you love is a quick and easy way to make any new place feel more comfortable and personal to you. Also taking pictures of some of your favorite local spots from your old home can be a nice reminder of where you came from.
2. Try to bring a scent that reminds you of home.
Scents have proven to be one of our strongest senseslinked to memory. Although some schools don’t allow candles, bringing along the scent of your mom’s perfume or dad’s cologne can be an easy way to bring your family with you when you move.
3. Grab a jacket from a family member to wear when you feel homesick, or blanket from home.
Being able to wrap yourself up in something that brings instant comfort can dull your sense of homesickness at college. Whether it’s the warmth, or memories, or the feeling as if the person you love is right there giving you a big hug, it’s a sure way to make it through some tough times.
4. Make a playlist of songs that remind you of home.
This is one of the harder things to do. But, try and make a list of songs that you like to play at the house or that you often listen to in the car. Songs are a great way to bring up old memories even when you feel unsure in a new environment.
5. Bring at least one thing that you can cuddle.
Although it sounds childish, sometimes a childhood stuffed animal is the best remedy for homesickness. Whenever you are stressed or scared in a new place, having a friend you can squeeze often helps release tension.
Moving to a new place can be scary and knowing that your definition of home will never be the same can often feel unsettling. But rather than seeing this new chapter as a goodbye to your old definition of home, it is a good idea to see the definition as expanding exponentially and opening up a new world of possibilities. The whole world becomes a new space of opportunity for new places and new people to be added to your idea of what “home” is. But wherever life may take you, it is important to create a space where you are comfortable and feel safe.