I can’t believe it is almost the first day of school for a lot of colleges! If you are an incoming freshmen, I am sure you are heading up to orientation any day now. I remember being so nervous going to orientation. At my school it was the weekend before school starts and hundreds of freshmen and their parents were scurrying around finding their way through campus. My homesickness sunk in when my parents said goodbye to me at the end of the weekend to drive back to California. I cried for a couple minutes as I walked back to my dorm. Fortunately, I was able to pull myself together before walking into my room… I didn’t want to walk into my dorm bawling my eyes out and freak out my roommate whom I barely knew.
Homesickness comes worse to some and others don’t even miss home the slightest bit. Growing up I would get so homesick that I couldn’t even go to 6th grade camp without having my mom come pick me up. Seven years later, I am being dropped off 600 miles from home for the next four years. My homesickness at college fell somewhere in the middle. I missed the comfort of home and my parents, but I was able to keep myself busy, which eased the transition! Below are my tips to ease your homesickness:
The couple weeks leading up to college, is an important time to prepare yourself for what is to come. Talk with your family and think of things to do to distract yourself if you start to feel homesickness creep in. For me, the time of the day when I would start getting sad about missing home was at night when I was going to bed. That is when I was winding down and not running around seeing what my new school has to offer. Your mind is bound to start going a mile a minute, so use this time to relax and ease your mind if you are starting to feel sad. Listen to music, watch a movie with your roomie, journal your experiences so far, or anything that helps you relax.
Understand a lot of people are in the same boat as you!
You are definitely not the only one feeling homesick. I can guarantee you that homesickness is more common than you think. Some people are better at putting up fronts and coming off as outgoing and ready for this new chapter in their life. However, even the most outgoing person could be homesick too.
I cannot emphasize this enough. YOU NEED TO KEEP BUSY. If you lay around in your dorm feeling sorry for yourself, your homesickness will never go away. Join clubs, go to athletic events, participate in your residence hall events, anything! There are a million different things going on at colleges so use these activities as a way to distract yourself from your homesickness and make friends. It’s a double whammy so get out there!
It gets better!
It doesn’t matter how severe your homesickness is, it will get better. I always think of the phrase “adventure starts on the edge of your comfort zone.” This phrase couldn’t be more true for college. You’re in a place where you don’t know anyone, you are forced to live in a tiny space with someone you don’t know, and now you’re supposed to live in this entirely different world… bizarre. But it is also such an amazing experience and you’ll meet friends that you will have forever. The first couple of weeks are awkward, but you’ll ease your way into a friend group and routine. Once you start getting comfortable, the homesickness will be a thing of the past.
I hope these tips have helped you out if you are feeling homesick. Remember, it is temporary and you just have to grin and bear it because it will get better!