Homesickness is something that almost every student experiences to some extent when they go away to college. It’s only natural to feel out of place in your new surroundings—it can be overwhelming to experience so many changes at one time. Everyone deals with homesickness in different ways, but here are some suggestions for how to make your transition a little easier:
One of the hardest things to adjust to will be your new room. Your bed might not be as comfy, and you will likely be sharing your personal space with someone you don’t even know. But try to make the most of it. Get a beanbag chair. Hang some posters. Put pictures of your friends and family on your desk. MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME!
2. Be Social
Instead of wishing you were with your friends and family at home, make some new friends. Try to make at least one friend in each class you take. This will come in handy when you need a study partner. Suggest a study group with a few members of your class at a local coffee shop.
3. Join a Club…or Three
Whether it’s intramural sports or a sorority/fraternity, joining a club or organization is a great way to meet new people and get involved in campus life. Many campuses have a student center where activities are held or posted. Extracurricular activities are an excellent way to find other students with similar interests. Volunteer at the campus gym. Join the choir. You will make friends and have fun at the same time.
4. Get a Job
Working a few nights a week, as long as it does not interfere with your studies, is a good way to earn some extra money and meet new people. Many on-campus jobs provide flexible schedules and are willing to work around students’ school schedules.
6. Encourage Family Members and Friends to Visit
If you can’t go home, bring a piece of home to you. Having friends and family visit you can take the edge off an unfamiliar environment. Walk them around the campus and introduce them to your new friends.
7. Go Home
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly miss home any more, it’s time for winter break. Remember, school is not 365 days a year. You will have chances to go home again. If you need to take the occasional long weekend so you can go home and sleep in your own bed, go for it. Ask your Mom to make your favorite meal. Visit your old friends. By the end of the weekend, you will be ready to go back to school.
It’s important to remind yourself that homesickness lessens over time. Give yourself time to become familiar with your surroundings. Once you get into the swing of things, you will look around your dorm room and see home.