Navigating Homesickness Your First Week Of College Away From Home

Whoever said that you never want to return home after moving away to college is lying. At least, it’s a lie during the first week after moving in. Initially, I was excited to take the first step into my dorm room in Rieber Hall, hurriedly taking my belongings out of boxes with my parents. At the moment, I was still with my parents, so I didn’t feel sad at all; however, it wasn’t until the time came to say goodbye that I started to feel homesick. Before I entered college, I would hear from my older friends and from high school alumni that people usually don’t feel homesickness until a month after first starting college. Yet, for some reason, I felt it on the very first day that I moved into my dorm.

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Whoever said that it does get better with time is not lying; homesickness does get better with time. Your first week of college might be during zero week, when events are held to welcome students onto campus again. During this time, you can distract yourself by trying to meet new people in your hall, since everyone is trying to make friends. Additionally, you can attend as many events as possible to meet more people while also learning more about what UCLA is like. My favorite event during zero week is Bruin Bash, and the excitement for the concert completely distracted me from feeling any sadness with missing my home. 

A picture of Powell Library Original photo by Marvin Araiza Above all, the most important thing to do after moving in is to explore campus to see what your new home for the next four years will be like. Although you might be away from home, you have the ability to create an environment that you can call home at UCLA. By exploring campus, dorm buildings, dining halls, and Westwood, you can slowly get more comfortable in your new home. I explored UCLA right after I moved in, and I instantly fell in love with all that UCLA has to offer. Doing so made me more familiar with navigating campus and the Hill, and ultimately it made me feel less homesick since I became more comfortable with my new environment. 

Photo via Pixabay on Pexels Furthermore, just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you can’t still see or talk to your family. In this digital age, it only takes a few seconds to send a “hello” to your family, and it’s a simple swipe and touch to video chat with them. Although you might not see them physically, talking to them virtually might be just enough to alleviate your homesickness, since you can instantly contact them with just your phone. The interaction might not be the same, but maintaining that bond with close friends and family will make you feel less homesick in your new environment. 

Courtesy of Hannah Lipow Homesickness is common for many students. Whether it be days, weeks, months, or years after moving away from home, the feeling of sadness is just the same. It might last for a moment, or it might last for a few weeks. No matter the duration of your homesickness, it’s important to not dwell on the feeling and instead do other activities to distract yourself, or confront your homesickness by contacting those whom you miss. Getting comfortable with your new environment by exploring campus, the dorms, and the Westwood area will allow you to see the beauty of your new home at UCLA. Perhaps you might even fall in love with UCLA to the point that you’ll feel homesick when you return back home.