My freshman year turned out nothing like I would’ve imagined. I was struggling to make new friends, adjusting to the workload of college classes, and I was extremely homesick. My homesickness freshman year definitely took a toll on my mental health and wellbeing, but your experience with homesickness doesn’t have to be like mine. Whether you live an hour away or 700 miles away, moving away to college is a major adjustment and everyone is bound to feel homesick at some point. Here are some tips to help you when you’re missing home.
1. Realize what you’re going through is normal.
It may be easy to assume all your friends from back home are having the time of their lives at college when scrolling through Instagram, but a picture only tells one story. Many other students are dealing with the same yearning feeling for home, even if no one is talking about it. Don’t think you are alone or be too hard on yourself if you’re not enjoying college just yet. It takes a few weeks to get comfortable, give yourself time.
2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
It’s easier said than done, but make yourself do something you wouldn’t normally do. Whether it may be making an effort to start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you or joining a club you know nothing about, you have absolutely nothing to lose! Instead, you’ll be boosting your confidence, discovering more about yourself, and on a journey to find where you belong. You will never know what may happen or the people you’ll meet if you don’t make an effort.
3. Keep in contact with home (to an extent).
Call your parents, keep in touch with your best friends, or even go home if you really need to. This is a great way to deal with homesickness, but you must follow with caution. Try not to make a habit of relying on your best friends from home. You may miss out on opportunities like going to events and finding your new friends at school.
4. Talk to someone about it.
Venting your feelings to someone is always a great way to make yourself feel better. Find a friend, advisor, or anyone you don’t mind sharing your emotions with.
If you don’t feel comfortable telling a friend, consider making an appointment at SLU’s University Counseling Center located in Wuller Hall. There is no fee for SLU students, and you are permitted 10 individual therapy sessions each academic year to speak with a professional confidentially about any problems you may be dealing with. For more information, click here.
5. Stay positive and be patient.
When you’re feeling down it may be hard to keep a positive outlook on life, but trust me everything will get better with time and you will figure it out. It’s so easy think you may need to leave your new school, but give your school a chance to show you this is where you belong. Everyone deals with everything differently, and for some it takes more time to settle than others.
It took me a little over a semester to finally adjust, and it’s okay because I was able to find the people and things that made my new school a home away from home.