Leaving home for the first time can create some overwhelming feelings of loneliness, desperation, and even fear that can make it seem like you just won’t be able to keep going. When you’re faced with homesickness, keep a few things in mind. First of all, don’t panic. Sure, you thought you’d have no trouble at all, but instead you miss your home terribly, and everything that’s new seems overwhelming. There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t be paralyzed. Change is part of life, and though when you were younger a great deal of the pain of change was kept from you, adults everywhere can tell you that the sun still rises and you’ll make it. Okay, here are some practical ideas to get you through.
- Accept the feelings. Don’t try to cover them up as though you don’t have them. Go ahead and feel homesick. It’s not immature and it’s not something you’re doing wrong. You’ve just been involved in a major life change, and those are traumatic! Allow yourself to feel the feelings you have.
- Get busy! Get involved in your classes and in activities on campus. Most homesickness is at its worst during idle time. It stands to reason, then, that you should do your best to have full days.
- Be a people person. Make sure your dorm mates and you get off to a great start. You don’t have to have a perfect friendship to avoid homesickness in college, but you should be sure to treat your roommates with respect expect the same. Outside of the dorm, make friends. Homesickness in college is for the most part, loneliness. Friends can help you deal with that. You’ll find opportunities to meet friends in classes, activities, and just around campus.
- Don’t treat your family like they’ve dropped off the face of the earth. You can still call them, email them, write them, and talk with them. Although you’re moving on with your life, college isn’t a prison with regulated phone calls. You can and should communicate with your family. Keep in mind, though, that this is your new life, and hours long phone calls every night won’t help you get on with it.
- Take advantage of resources the college offers. You will likely have a resident advisor, and older student whose job is to help students adjust. If you feel overwhelmed by homesickness in college, stop by for advice. Your college likely has counselors who can also help.
- Make your college a home. You should decorate your room, or your area of the room. Add touches that make it homey and comfortable. The sooner you make your living area personal, the sooner you’ll think it’s home. It will amaze you when you visit home for the holidays and actually miss your dorm room!
Remember, your life is changing, and when you’re in the middle of a change, it’s too easy to forget that decisions you make have impacts on your future. Don’t make decisions based on emotions during these times. Take a deep breath when you feel like giving up and instead do something about it!
How to Deal with Homesickness in College posted by WJ Rosser at USCollegeRanking.org