Feeling homesick is something everyone can feel from time to time and it can hit you when you least expect it. Personally, I find myself missing my family most when I get stressed out about something else. A bad test grade or a fight with your significant other can have you feeling like you’re out of place in your new life away from home. As a student with my family out of state, this can be especially hard, but it can be an issue no matter how near or far you are from home. Here are a few tips to help you overcome homesickness if it’s not convenient to visit.
Embrace Comforts of Home
This could mean eating a bowl of mac and cheese or watching a few episodes of your favorite show. Finding a nearby location of your favorite restaurant or store can help you realize that some things that seem far away are closer than you think. Give yourself time and know these feelings are normal and sometimes you just need allow your emotions to take over for a day. Just don’t get stuck feeling down.
Make Your Space Feel Like Home
Get to know your new city by exploring the area on and off campus. It took me almost a year to know how to get anywhere without a GPS when I moved. I suggest you take time to find a new favorite restaurant, go window shopping downtown, or just take some time to wander. Learn where your favorite grocery store is and know the way to the gas station without Google Maps. The more you get to know where you live, the more homey it will feel. Likewise, decorate your room in your own style. Put up pictures of friends and family, and as you make new memories with new friends, hang pictures of those too. Incorporating your personality into your space helps you to feel more at home, where you are.
Spend Time With Your Friends
I’m the type of person who avoids asking for help; I tend to keep my feelings to myself. When I finally told my best friend I was feeling homesick, I felt a huge relief and she ended up inviting me to spend Thanksgiving break with her and her family since I won’t be spending it with mine. College is the time when you make friends who will last a lifetime. Do whatever you and your friends like to do, have a meal together, go shopping, or watch a movie. Spend quality time getting to know people, they will support you and one day you can return the favor.
Call Your Family (but don’t overdo it)
If you can’t visit, a phone call can go a long way, especially if you schedule a time to talk. Getting in a routine can help to establish comfort with your new situation. Parents love to hear from their kids, and talking about what you’re feeling will help you feel better. Plus, if your parents know you’re missing them, they can help figure out a way to cope.
Get Out of Your Room
As tempting as it is to binge on a Netflix marathon when you’re feeling down, you might find yourself withdrawing more. Eating a meal with a friend or going to campus events can help you to feel more at home at school. Making little changes can help you to feel more comfortable. Make an effort to stay out of your room in between classes or try to eat in the dining hall instead of your room.