Many students dream about moving away for college and the independence it takes to live on your own away from home. However, being alone for the first time in your life can be a very intimidating experience, especially in an atmosphere where no one is familiar. Student’s start to miss the life and friends they had back home and soon homesickness starts to set in. But, being homesick is not the end of the world and there are many things you can do in order to overcome it, and make your first year a success.
- Try to meet a new friend and join organizations to occupy your time. The worst part about being homesick is thinking about what you are missing out on back home with your family and friends. However, if you try to fill all of your downtimes with new friends and organizations on campus, the time you had to fill with homesickness decreases and the friends you make along the way will become like a family away from home.
- Keep things familiar. Decorating your dorm with pictures and familiar objects is a good way to make your room feel less foreign and more comfortable. The room will begin to feel less like a jail cell that you are stuck in and will start to feel more like a home that you can relax and grow in. Instead of feeling like you are in a completely different place with no connection to home, even small decorations can make your dorm seem as welcoming as your room back home.
- Keep in touch with your friends and family back home, but don’t stay too attached. It is important to maintain strong relationships with those at home, whether through skype or texting/calling. But, it is important to not stay attached to your life back home. College is about exploring who you are as an individual, meeting new people, and gaining the independence it takes to enter the world after school. Call a family or friend when you are feeling low or are having a bad day, but make sure you are trying to meet new people along the way as well.
It is important for people to know that homesickness is natural for many college students and is ultimately inevitable. Being used to your life back home and then having it taken away from you so fast is bound to leave an impression and homesickness will start to set in. Meeting new people, making your surroundings familiar and welcoming and keeping strong relationships with those back home, while making new relationships along the way, will help ease the pain that comes with being homesick and help pave the path to a successful year.