Feeling Homesick? Here’s Why It’s Okay and Why You’ll Come Out Stronger

During the last few weeks of my senior year, I found it increasingly difficult to focus on anything other than the fact that in a few short months, I’d be embarking on my biggest journey yet: packing up my life and heading off to the University of Vermont!  I was ecstatic to explore a new place, make new friends, and create a second home for myself, especially having grown up alongside the same people, in the same town, for eighteen years.  I knew I’d miss home a little bit, but I was mainly excited for this new adventure.

 

However, after moving to Burlington at the end of August, I began to regret my decision.  I thought I was ready for this new chapter of my life, but at times, the transition felt like too much for me to handle.  I had left everything I had ever known, which made me feel disoriented and lost.  I was four hours away from my family, the majority of my close friends, and the town I knew and loved so much.  It didn’t help that any time I checked Facebook or Instagram, it seemed like everybody else was having the time of their life.  I cried every day for a month because it seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I simply could not adjust to college life.  Even though I had (and still have!) an awesome roommate and a handful of good friends here at school, I felt lonelier than I ever had before. 

At some point during my seemingly-endless bout with homesickness, I realized that wallowing in self-pity wasn’t necessarily helping my cause.  Calling my parents every single day only made it worse, because hearing their voices only reminded me how much I missed the familiarity of home.  Looking at pictures of my dog created a pit in my stomach that I couldn’t shake.  I knew I needed to make a change.  Instead of thinking about how unhappy I felt, I started channeling my energy into more productive activities.  I joined a few clubs, reached out to those in my classes, and bonded with people who are in my major.  

As soon as I made more of an effort to put myself out there and connected better with people who shared common interests, I noticed a shift in my attitude.  I started enjoying college a lot more, and immediately became more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I learned that while it is okay to miss home, it’s important to make the best of your experiences, which I hadn’t been doing at the beginning of the school year.  By having a more positive outlook and getting more involved on campus, I was able to pull myself out of a rut that I thought I’d never get out of.

Now, as I approach the end of my first semester, I’m so happy I persevered and stuck with UVM.  Even though I struggled a lot at first, I feel like I’ve grown significantly as a person.  The most important lesson I’ve learned from this experience is to give everything a chance.  Even though you might be uncomfortable at first, you will never regret putting yourself out there.  It’s okay to feel homesick, but it’s important to make the best of every situation.  If you’re feeling homesick, just know that everything is going to be okay; the first step to alleviating the situation is knowing that YOU CAN DO IT!