At one point or another in your college experience, you might find yourself feeling homesick. This is completely normal, considering you are in a completely different environment than what you have experienced for the last 18 years of your life.
What is homesickness? Homesickness is thinking continually of home, and missing familiarity deeply. Homesickness doesn’t even have to be associated with missing your house, but instead missing what is comfortable and normal to you.
It is important to remember that having these feelings are completely normal. A lot of freshman feel this way at one point or another, so you are not alone.
Going to college can be a huge culture shock, and it can be difficult to get adjusted if you don’t handle the transition the right way. But remember that there are several remedies to cope with the homesickness you might be feeling if you are in college right now, and if you are a rising freshman finishing up your senior year, you’ll want to remember these tips for your next big transition.
Consider the following tips to conquer your feelings of homesickness so you can move forward and enjoy your college experience.
1. Get Busy
Yes, getting involved is on almost every college tip list, but there is a reason for that. By joining clubs that interest you, you’ll be able to meet people who are similar to you. This avenue can be a great platform for potential great friends. By meeting people you like and spending time with them, you’ll naturally find yourself feeling more comfortable. The key to when you’re feeling homesick is not to isolate yourself, but to get yourself out there. Staying inside will only make your symptoms worse. To help you get yourself out there, try to avoid staying too connected to people from home. I am sure they are all great people, but the more you are clinging on to the past, the less you’re going to be able to invest in great relationships for the future.
2. Create a Routine
It is hard to get used to the non-routine life college has to offer with different classes each day. But make it a goal of yours to plan your days and even your weeks, giving you a sense of productivity. This will naturally help you feel more in charge of your life, even if you are scheduling time for things like reading or exercising. You created a routine at home, so why not create a routine at college?
3. Learn What Calms You Down
For me, reading always helps bring me back to reality when I am stressed or in a funk. I read about solutions to situations I am going through because it leads me to at least think I have my life together. However, your sense of peace might come from a different outlet, like exercising, or even knitting. And if you achieve great serenity from Netflix, try to only limit yourself to one episode a day. It will do you more harm than good if all you’re glued to a screen all day and all night.
4. Create An Environment You Love
This one is crucial. Make sure your dorm room looks like something that you can feel at home in. This doesn’t mean you should get the exact same bed spread from home, but it wouldn’t hurt to go for similar color schemes. Lights that you can strand on the ceiling are a great idea as well, because they can make your room feel soothing and welcoming.
5. Get Outside
Nature has a knack for shifting perspective. The sunshine you receive from going for a walk, bike ride, or run outside will fill your day with more positivity than you think.
6. Talk To Someone
Find at least one person to talk to about how you’re feeling, whether be it a friend, roommate, or teammate. Talking about your feelings can be great therapy. And chances are, those that you talk with are experiencing the same feelings, which can lead to a bond where you can support each other in enjoying what college has to offer.
Additionally, all schools offer helpful professionals who will listen to how you are feeling and help you the best they can. If symptoms are worse, such as serious difficulty in attending classes and social isolation, this could be more serious than homesickness. If this is your situation, seek guidance from a professional to get you on track and help you move forward.
In college, when we get homesick we lose sight of the wider scope. You know how we naturally have a more positive perspective of our past? There is scientific evidence to prove that this is because we know we have changed since that event, and because of that, we will never be who we once were at that one point in our past. We want what we can’t have, because the “grass is always greener on the other side”. However, when you have your first job or you have kids, you are going to look back on college and think about how much you miss it and want to go back.
You have to force yourself to see the wider perspective, and look above the sense of time. This is a time of independence, of finding what you love, and meeting friends you’ll have for the rest of your life. This is really the start of everything for you, the start of you becoming an adult and truly impacting the world in your own way. And you are also lucky enough to be able to attend college, because most people would do anything to be in your position.
Make a choice every day to enjoy college, and you actually will start to find yourself loving it. You have amazing experiences ahead of you over the course of these next four years that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Your next chapter is waiting for you, a new and exciting life full of adventures and more than you could ever expect. It is up to you to turn the page and choose to embrace what this season has to offer.