To all the homesick college students (especially the freshmen),

Starting college is hard. You'll find that very few of your peers will tell how easy college is or how they just blew through everything, and that's because it's nearly impossible to just breeze through college like you may (or may not) have done in high school. Your classwork load and tests and everything else you have going on will not help your feelings of homesickness that you may already be feeling.

You may constantly just have a feeling in your stomach of sadness or longing for the familiarity of home. Or maybe certain incidents or foods in the dining hall or TV shows will trigger that desire to just be back home surrounded by your family and your own room and your pets and everything else you had to leave behind. Throwing yourself into an unfamiliar setting and having to navigate your own controls can be a lot for any student, but especially freshmen, to handle.

Some people can go through college without having a "severe" case of homesickness. Maybe they live relatively close by and can pop in and out of home fairly easily, or maybe they just feel like their family is still in their back pocket in a sense and never feel like they're without them. But for some of us, going home is a rare occurrence and seeing family, especially siblings we're particularly close with, is harder to coordinate and months can go by without seeing them in person.

Homesickness is natural. It's completely typical to just have those feelings of wanting to go home, and at times, it may be bad enough that you just want to pack up all of your stuff and move back home altogether. You may want to cry (which is OK, just let it all out) and you may just want to call your mom or sister (and you call them, let them know you miss them). Don't feel silly for missing home, even if you may seem to be the only person you know actually upset about not being able to be home. I promise, nearly everyone is feeling the way you, to some degree.

However, while it's perfectly good and OK to feel homesick, try not to let it "ruin" your actual college experience for yourself. You may want to just stay curled up in bed and catch up on your Netflix shows or whichever other way you want to cope, but you may discover those feelings only getting worse, rather than subsiding. Some days, try to go out and meet people in your hall or go out to eat or hang out with friends that you already have. You may find that the more you hang out with others, it may distract the homesick feelings you have as you adjust more to your new life.

Whatever ways best help you to combat those homesick feelings, that's great for you. Those feelings may stay in there a little dormant and may come up from time to time, but learn ways to handle them. You may want to schedule a weekly FaceTime with your mom, get regular pictures of your dog from your sister, or just request a little care package. You can get through these little hurdles to have the best college experience that you can.

Best wishes,

A Former (Very) Homesick Student