Going away for college is one of the best ways to explore the world around you and experience a new place. With this exciting new place you’ve immersed yourself in comes the inevitable feelings of homesickness and, in many cases, the overwhelming confusion over where “home” is. When you move to a new place, you’re bound to feel a sense of hopelessness in trying to navigate your new life and unfamiliar surroundings and you may struggle with feeling at home. Chances are, you won’t have immediate family or close friends nearby and your favorite cafes and restaurants from your home city could be out of reach. Everything that used to make you feel at home no longer has a place in your daily life, which can be a sad realization to have. You can, however, make your new city feel like home in a few simple steps.
Make Meaningful Connections
Part of the reason you felt so comfortable at home was the people you surrounded yourself with. Often, it’s the people around you that you associate with the word “home”. Instead of distancing yourself from blossoming friendships, hold on tightly to them, foster them, and engage in the relationships that meant the most to you. At the end of the day, these are the people that are going to make your college experience better and act as a constant in your new life, which will, in turn, start to make you feel more at home. The more constants in your life, the more comfortable you will be day to day and the more at home you will feel.
Find Your Favorite Spots
One of the most important features of a “home” is your list of go-to places in the area. Whether that list consists entirely of your favorite cafes to do work in, the best local restaurants, or a combination of all of your favorite venues, you need to have one. Having a list of places you like to go to will give you a sense of familiarity with your new city. Working them into your routine can also help you adjust to new aspects of your life because you’ll have places you can go and be comfortable when it feels like you’re overwhelmed by unfamiliarity. When friends and family come to visit, you’ll be able to show them your favorite places, and for this purpose, they will be yours.
Form New Habits
While you don’t need to ditch every aspect of your old life, it might help to create new habits that you can associate with your new routine, like running in the park nearby, taking public transportation, and making a point to explore the surrounding areas. When you change your routine to fit your lifestyle after you’ve moved, you’ll find that you create a more solid connection to the place you’re living in and it will be more consciously integrated into your life
It’s not easy to make your new city feel like home, but it’s entirely worth the effort. There’s absolutely no reason to live out your college years in an unfamiliar place and not make the effort to make your new city into your home. You’ll have a much better college experience and you may even wind up loving it so much that you consider finding work there after college!
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