With the holiday season right around the corner, you might be feeling even more of a desire to be at home with your loved ones and COVID certainly hasn't made any degree of separation any easier.
This feeling is normal, and whatever you're feeling is valid.
One of the things I struggled with when I moved to college was the incredible amounts of homesickness. I hated my college town, I wasn't getting along with my roommates, and I absolutely dreaded being alone with my thoughts- not to mention, I missed having someone cook my meals for me (but don't tell my mom I said that!).
I never thought I would miss home until I was gone.
1. Take a break from social media
While social media has done so much to connect us during this time of uncertainty and isolation, it can make being alone so much harder. Mindless scrolling may be a great distraction, but it shouldn't be a way to escape your feelings. College became so difficult because all I saw on my feeds were my friends from high school having a great time at school. It made me wonder what I was doing wrong- why I wasn't thriving as much as others had seemed. Being in a constant cycle of comparison and doubt made me absolutely miserable.
2. Recognize that you're not the only one who feels this way
It was so eye-opening to learn how many other people had experienced homesickness when they first started college. I remember the first conversation I had with my sister about college was about how much we had missed home. The more I talked about my feelings with other people, the more I learned how common homesickness was.
3. Connect with others as much as you canFriends Hug GIF by MOODMANGiphy
I usually hate facetiming unless I absolutely have to. I've never been one for small talk or talking to someone "just because", but college has taught me the importance of reaching out to others instead of waiting for people to reach out to you first. I always thought me being an introvert was the perfect excuse to get out of talking to friends, but I soon realized I would never get through my feelings of loneliness until I got over my pride and realized people wouldn't see my reaching out as being inconvenient or annoying.
If you find yourself feeling homesick like I did- recognize that being connected in a healthy and productive way is so important. Call a friend, introduce yourself to your neighbor, or smile at a stranger. Any small gesture can make a huge difference.