It has been over a month since college began and many of us have adjusted well. Some of us, however, still miss home and feel out of place here. So how can we adjust?
My biggest problem was finding and talking to people. I thought, "How do I make friends?" We can forget how to do it after years of having the same friends. What I learned is that there is no correct way. Sometimes you just have to sit next to people and say hi. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I asked to sit next to some people for breakfast one day and quickly realized they weren't interested in making friends. I understood that not everyone is going to be welcoming and it's okay. I have found people by going to club meetings, talking to my roommate, and just sitting next to people in class.
Over time, I found people that I enjoyed spending time with and those who enjoyed spending time with me. Finding people is what made me feel comfortable here and the people are what make it seem like home. If you feel out of place at Stony Brook, there are people here who can make you feel like you belong. You will find them, even if it takes a little more time.
Feeling homesick is also very normal. We have left people that we have spent our whole lives with. As time goes on, you'll get used to being apart, but do not let home keep you from making a life here. Your real home will always be there, but for the next four years this will be your home and learning to thrive in it is vital.
Additionally, the workload is quite heavier and different from high school. We have more work and more to teach ourselves. This can seem burdensome and we might want to give up. The key here is to work effectively and find a work ethic that suits you. Check out my most recent article for more ways to study efficiently.
Adjusting is different for everyone. Do not be discouraged by people adjusting faster than you. Your time will come and this school will eventually become a home.