6 Ways to Kick Homesickness

If you're anything like me, adjusting to college may be one of the hardest and scariest times of your life thus far. For many, it is the first time being in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, and living on your own, all while trying to juggle the intense work load that college courses present. 

To be completely honest, first semester was hard for me. During the first few weeks of my freshman year, I vividly remember scrolling through social media and wishing I was like all the people from my hometown enjoying their “new life” and making the most out of their college experience right from the beginning. Although I was happy for all of my friends, it always made me feel like I was doing something wrong, considering how homesick I was. 

However, over time I learned how to deal with my anxieties and navigate through life while living on this large campus. Here are just six ways that I turned college into my second home and fell in love with all of the opportunities UMass presented for me. 

1. Bring your hometown favorites to school! 

One of the most important things that helped me through this period of transition was finding my hobbies and the things I loved to do in high school on my new campus. When I was home, some of my favorite things to do were to workout, go to yoga classes, watch sports, and see a new movie. Fortunate for me, they have all those things available for me in Amherst. While at UMass, I’ve learned to keep myself busy by attending numerous classes held at the recreation center, which range anywhere from Pilates, to yoga, to spin. Taking the time out of my day for me and allowing my body to move has been one of my saving graces. Not only am I keeping myself busy, but I am participating in activities that are helping my physical and mental health. What more could you ask for?

 

2. Make your dorm room your own space! 

My freshman year roommate and I decided to color coordinate the decorations for our dorm room. Of course, we decided to go with a pink theme. Once move in day arrived, my dorm room was covered in pink throw pillows, pink blankets, pink picture frames, and basically pink everything. The set up was nice and cozy, but, my favorite parts of my room were the meaningful objects from home that I put on display. Some of the items that allowed me to feel like I was at home when in my dorm room were the numerous photos I hung all around my room, some of my favorite posters, and of course, a note that my parents had left me on move in.

 

3. Find a favorite spot to eat! 

Finding a favorite place to eat, either on campus or near campus can be a huge savior when it comes to kicking homesickness and getting back to feeling like yourself. For me, Greenfields in the campus center and a good cup of coffee have done the trick. (My heart breaks at the thought of not having Marylou’s coffee on campus, but I’ve learned to make do.) Something as simple as planning to indulge in your favorite meal at the end of a long day or getting ready to relax at the coffee shop brings me excitement and gives me a little something to look forward to everyday. 

 

4. Break out of your comfort zone!

I’m sure you’ve heard numerous times from friends and family that getting involved makes a huge difference in one’s college experience. Although it may seem cliché, this is true! Breaking out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and joining clubs not only kept me busy but allowed me to meet and connect with likeminded people. It is so important to find clubs/organizations that you are passionate about, not only for personal interest, but also for exposure and experience for your chosen major. 

 

5. Keep in touch! 

The best thing about going to college in 2019 is all of the technology that we have access to at our fingertips. One of my favorite parts of the day is when I get to sit down and facetime my parents or best friends from home. Although my friends and family cannot physically here with me at school, it's comforting to hear their voice, catch up on what’s been going on back home, and even vent a little bit if I need too. 

As my parents told me multiple times throughout the course of my first semester, no matter how far away you think you are, you are only a phone call away. 

 

6. Seek out friends who are similar to you! 

I do not mean this lightly when I say that some of the friends I have met at school will be my friends for the rest of my life. Living at school along strangers who will become your best friends allows a special type of relationship to grow. My best friends at school have danced with me, studied with me, cried with me, laughed with me, celebrated with me, and ultimately have lived everyday with me. They have seen me at some of my best college moments, and also stuck by my side for some of the not so great moments.

I previously mentioned some of my favorite’s hobbies and activities at UMass that keep me busy. It helps a great deal that I have surrounded myself with friends who come with me to the gym, go on runs with me, are always happy to head to the coffee shop with me, and even my out of state girls who are willing to sit and watch Boston sports with me. 

Seeking out and finding a group of girls who encourage me every day to wake up and be the best version of myself, while supporting me and making memories with me, has been one of the most amazing parts of college thus far. 

No matter what mindset you have upon arriving to school, it is important to remember that your hometown will always be your home, your best friends will always be your best friends, and that your family will always be your family. With that, here’s to breaking out of your comfort zone, enjoying college, and making the most out of the time that you have left on your amazing campus.

 

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