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The semester is halfway through and tests and midterms are upon us. It’s the final stretch to make it to Thanksgiving and then before you know it, finals will be around the corner (yikes)!! Although Dallas feels like home, sometimes the stress of classes and activities gets to me and I would do ANYTHING to be back home with my family, friends and in my own bed! 

1. Make your dorm room feel homey. Cozy up your dorm room (perfect for fall!) with some blankets or pillows from home. Some familiar objects around your room will make it seem like you’re coming home after a long day of class. 

2. Put up pictures of your family and friends from back home. I ordered prints of me and all my friends and put them up on my wall above my desk. It’s a super easy way to be reminded of your friends, see some familiar faces and remember all the good times y’all have had. 


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3. Stay busy! Although we’re a few months into school, SMU offers a ton of clubs and student organizations and many have rolling admission. SMU is such a welcoming community and you are sure to find your niche.

4. Another way to stay busy is to exercise! It can be so tempting to just want to stay in bed forever but head over to Dedman Rec Center to lift your spirits. Go for a run or maybe even take one of the MANY classes they offer, like yoga or Zumba. It will get your endorphins going and you’ll feel so accomplished post-workout.

5. Make a list of things you want to do for the next time you get to go home! This will give you something to look forward to. You can make a list of your favorite restaurants or even see if some of your friends will be in town to work through the list with you. 

6. Keep in touch with your friends and family (or pets ;)) not just by texting or calling them. Try using FaceTime or Skype so you can actually see them face-to-face. You can also communicate by throwing it back and using good old-fashioned snail mail. It’s always so fun getting a physical letter in the mail.  

7. Explore your city. Y’all, Dallas is a huge city and there’s never going to be nothing to do around here. Check out some restaurants with some friends, go shopping, go to a sporting event or even check out the Katy Trail. In addition to Dallas, SMU offers plenty of events right here on campus and is a great way to get to know other SMU students! 

8. Get hooked and binge watch a new series on Netflix…As I said before, it’s super tempting to want to spend all day in bed and not do anything, and this is totally okay in moderation. Find a new TV show (or re-watch a series) that will distract you from everything. It can be something funny, like “The Office” or if you want a suspenseful TV show, “Riverdale” is a go to. 

9. Practice gratitude. Every day, write down something you are grateful for about being at school. This will help you love your new home even more and appreciate everything that goes on here. Whether it be your new friends or a certain class that was particularly interesting, there are plenty of things to write about. Optimism is key.

If your homesickness continues for a really long time, know that these feelings are okay. It is extremely natural to miss home and feelings are real things. SMU provides wonderful counseling services who want nothing but the best for you! Utilize your resources and don’t feel embarrassed to make an appointment.

Kalena Dorgan is a freshman at Southern Methodist University and is planning on double majoring in Advertising and Communications, as well as minoring in Spanish. Being from Wisconsin, she can't wait to explore Dallas. She is passionate about volunteering in her community and is obsessed with chai tea, yoga, brunch and her planner.
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