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An Out-Of-Stater’s Guide to Surviving Homesickness

For me, moving from sunny california to the cloud-heavy city of seattle was a difficult transition. Packing up your life at home you have known for your first 18 years is no easy feat and with the added stress of classes, trying to find your way around, and making a new “home-base” at your college, its nearly impossible to avoid feeling homesick. 

Personally, as winter quarter has set in and breaks, long weekends, and free time have become extremely limited, I have recently found myself yearning for my bed at home, my mom’s cooking, and the familar streets that guided my pre-college life. It is for this reason, that I decided to make a mental shift and learn how to cope with my homesickness in a postive way. So, if you too are finding youself in a classic “winter funk” accompained by that incesant longing-for-home feeling, try some of my tips below! 


Tip #1 

Fight the urge to retreat back to bed 

If you have been feeling homesick, getting into bed after a tiring day of class sounds incredibly comforting, but in reality it won’t take long for this to become a habit and keep you in your negative headspace. Missing home is exhausting and makes you want to hide under those covers, but try as hard as you can to keep yourself out of them until its sleeptime! Staying up and about will keep you more productive and will help distract from your craving for home. Instead, call a friend and go out for coffee or a snack, or even better yet..go for a walk and get some endorphins in your system! While this isn’t a cure for homesickness, having the fresh air and laugh with a friend will help you feel more grounded and stable. 


Tip #2 

Dedicate a specific day to calling home 

While it is comforting to hear your mom’s voice on the phone everyday, it is not helping you settle down into your new world. Instead of calling friends and family from home 3-7 times a week, try to narrow down those calls to 1-2 a week as best as you can. Go slow with this transition, but really challenge yourself on this! Try waiting until Sunday to call and then catch up on what happened that week. I understand this can be a difficult one if you’re used to calling quite frequently, but it doesn’t all have to happen at once, just something to keep in mind. Staying too attached to home and to everything happening there will keep you from what is happening around you right now. 


Tip #3 

Let yourself feel it, but know when to reach out

It’s completely understandable—and healthy—to take a day or two to feel sad and dive into your homesickness. Watch some movies, have the ice cream you have been craving, listen to your saddest tunes and dwell a little…I mean you are going through a big transition, you’re allowed to. But, if your sad day turns into a sad week, or even month, it is time to reach out. Homesickness is normal, but should not be paralyzing. If you are feeling this way, definitely reach out to someone you trust and feel comfortable with, this person could be a parent, close friend, or a counselor at school. You are not alone in missing the consolation of home and it is important to get the support you need so that you are in the right place for you.  

Avrelle Harrington

Washington '22

Hi! I'm Avrelle and I am a freshman at the University of Washington. I am currently studying Communications here at UW but I am interested in doing journalism. I love to write, travel, ski, do yoga, and run!
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