Feeling homesick is not unfamiliar to anyone, unless you’re just naturally always comfortable being miles away from the people you love most and all that you’re familiar with; if so, bravo. But for those of us who have had or are currently experiencing that horrible nauseous feeling in our stomachs when we call home or look at a photo of our dogs, here are some tips:
1. Stay as busy as possible
When you find yourself alone without an activity, you are homesickness’ most vulnerable victim. Although it may seem intimidating at first, try to keep your schedule as booked as possible and keep yourself surrounded by people. So join clubs, make plans with people on your hall, or go work out (preferably at the newly redone IM building, check it out). If you are constantly doing something, you most likely won’t have time to tear up as look at your camera roll and see pictures of you and your BFF from home.
2. Keep contact with home at a minimum
While you should keep in touch with family and friends while at college, constantly hearing your loved ones’ voices can sometimes only highten your grief. Having gone to a boarding school that was an hour away from home, a distance many of you from Michigan may be from U of M, I can also personally tell you that going home early on is a big no-no. After going home for a weekend during the first month of my freshman year of high school, I sobbed the entire way back to school. Seeing my family so early only made me miss them more. So, main point is: don’t cut off contact with those who you miss, but definitely give yourself some space and keep visits and calls to a minimum.
3. Add parts of your old home to your new home
If there is a certain food you always eat at home or an activity you particularly enjoyed in high school with your friends, find it here! Doing things that constantly remind you of home isn’t ideal, but making small efforts to do the things that make you happy will help make Michigan feel more like home.
4. Trust the clichés
While everyone tosses you the classic, pitiful, “It’ll get better,” it really will. As time goes on you will become more and more comfortable in your new environment and will look back on your small era of mourning and laugh. Well, maybe you won’t laugh considering you probably shed a fair amount of tears and endured a solid period of sadness, but you will feel relief and happiness that you no longer feel the way you did and that you have settled into your new home. Just give it time, and, as annoying as it sounds, everything will work out eventually.
5. Know you are not alone
When you look around, you may panic and think “wow these girls look so comfortable and all have best friends already and don’t seem to miss their parents at all, what’s wrong with me?” Well, secret’s out: while everyone may seem so cool, calm, and collected, they are just as uncomfortable as you. They are just excellent actors. And, odds are, you probably act like you’ve got it all together too until you head back to your dorm room and lose it when you FaceTime your pets, like I do.
Homesickness is a normal feeling. Having gone through it twice, my freshman year of high school and my current freshman year at Michigan, I know how tough it can be. While I can’t assure you that you will stop binge eating chocolate and crying alone in your room (you may find yourself in this state once a month), I can promise you that the homesickness will eventually go away with an open mind. Just follow these tips, and life at your new home may be a little easier.
Images courtesy of: Keep Calm and Posters