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“Is It Normal To Be Homesick Already?”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

My Guide to Surviving Homesickness 

If you are anything like me, you might wonder if it’s normal to be terribly homesick already. I look around at my friends who seem to be adjusting back to college life with such ease and I feel like I’m alone. 

This year was my sophomore year back at The University Of Michigan and it started off great. I was so excited to be back and living with all my friends again. I had just spent four months in a brand new city with no friends and I couldn’t wait to get back to some form of normalcy. 

During this abnormal time of living in a new city with no friends, my life at Michigan was something I could always think about. It was a constant I knew I had. I spent my summer days planning what my room was going to look like, what meals my friends and I would cook, and what my game-day outfits would be. I spent my summer thinking about school. So naturally when the time rolled around for me to make the cross-country trip, I was ready. 

And for a while, it seemed like I was ready; welcome week was full of catching up with my friends, walking down State Street, and eating at my favorite restaurants. I thought this warm, cozy feeling was going to stick around for a while. 

Before I knew it, I was two weeks in and I was back in the routine of school and my class course work was piling up. While I craved a routine like this over the summer, the reality of living the experience was much different. I found myself thinking back to summer in the boiling and bright Austin sun, and I craved that routine. 

I guess the main lesson that I have learned is that “the grass will always appear greener on the other side”, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about what to do when you start feeling like you want to be somewhere else: home. What do you do when those feelings start creeping back in? How do you ground yourself into your new routine?

I go about this process in two ways and these tools have helped me feel adjusted in my new environment. 

  1. Setting Aside Time for “Activities Just For Me”
  2. Setting Aside Time for Social Activities 

Sometimes, to get out of the funk I’m in, I need to spend some time with people and just be social, while other times I need to take a few hours to just be myself. Everyday is different and everyday I need a different balance of them. Sometimes I wake up and I feel like I need a little more social interaction and others I wake up feeling like I need some alone time. 

My favorite “Activities Just For Me” include:

  1. JOURNALING – Look, I know everyone says that journaling is a great thing to do if you are stressed and have anxiety. Well, it really is. Over the past few months, I have made it a non-negotiable for my day and I have journal at least a page entry every single day. This is the time where I slow down and really process what my day has been like. Maybe it’s been busy or maybe I have just been sitting and watching an entire season of “The Bear ”. In any of these instances, journaling has given me a few minutes to just sit and think about how I’m feeling. I’ve created a space to write whatever is on my mind and whatever is taking up space in my brain. I literally feel lighter after journaling. 
  2. COOKING – Maybe this is a me thing but cooking brings me such a level of peace it can cure an entire bad day for me. Spending thirty to forty-five minutes listening to music or a podcast as I prep and cook a meal I’ve been looking forward to is such a nice way to unwindThis time allows me to really live in the moment and enjoy what I’m doing at that exact pound to not worry about anything else. 
  3. HYGIENE – While this may seem like a pretty everyday thing,this routine has become one of my favorite parts of the  day. The twenty minutes after I get out of the shower after a long day and before I go to sleep is the time where I process that day’s events and kind of center myself. This practice also helps me live in the moment and process my feelings. 

Here are my favorite “Social Activities” 

  1. EXERCISE CLASSES OR GYMING – I often find myself not wanting to go to the gym or an exercise class when I am not accompanied by a friend.  I immediately start feeling self conscious and wonder if  everyone is looking at me, so I have found that my anxiety is remedied when I go with a friend or two. . I have recently started taking Soul Cycle classes and they have  definitely made me enjoy working out a bit more. Not only do I find that  working out is good for both my mental and physical health, dedicating myself to becoming “better”, or healthier,  also helps me connect with my friends. We have this shared experience that we can now bond over. 
  2. GAME NIGHT – This is one of my favorite things to do with my friends. I invite the whole group over and we just hangout and talk. It’s relaxing and exactly what I need at the end of the week. I find it to be the perfect Friday night activity. 
  3. NAILS!!! – Similarly to the skincare and haircare section I wrote above, this is a great way to unwind and live in the movement. Put your phone down and just enjoy the nice spa experience. I love going with my friends and just being able to sit there and catch up for an hour.

Though these activities serve me well, I understand that everyone is different: people are going to have different ways to ground themselves into their new routines. I think I just want to get the message across that making time to do things that are good for your mental health is extremely important. As someone who feels like they are constantly busy, I know how stressful  school can be. These are the things that help me recuperate and take stock in the great life that I’m living here at school. 

Olivia Vegas

U Mich '26

Olivia Vegas is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. There she is studying communications and media, hoping to work in publishing. Aside from writing, Olivia enjoys watching movies, trying new coffee shops, and traveling.