When teenagers head off to college, they are almost always incredibly excited and a bit nervous. As time passes, they begin to feel homesick for home. When many college students miss their home, they are close enough to go spend the weekend with their parents or friends back home. In most cases, students have to make adjustments and learn how to cope with being away from home.
Understand It’s Normal
Instead of beating yourself up for being homesick, know that everyone experiences degrees of homesickness when they’re away at college. Even the most outgoing student has feelings of missing home creep into their daily life. Acknowledging the fact that you are getting homesick at college means you can work towards resolving those feelings. It won’t be the first time you feel homesick either. Many people experience it throughout their lives even as adults.
Adapting to New Surroundings
It helps to quell homesickness when you can explore the area. Wander around the campus, explore the neighborhood, find a great local cafe that you love or challenge yourself to find a great coffee shop. When you feel less like an interloper, you’ll feel more like you belong at school, and that you belong in that city. Try to make it your new home instead of dwelling on the things you miss about home.
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Reconnect with Home
While you don’t want to go running back home to family and friends, you can reconnect with them in a meaningful way long distance. Take some time once a week to connect via Skype or Facebook. Call your mother every other day to hear her voice and tell her what’s been going on with you. Try not to rely on hearing her voice every day. You’ll need to wean yourself away from family eventually. It helps to lessen the homesickness.
Talk to a Professional
When you’re homesick, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one not adjusting to being away from home. It can make you feel even more isolated and lonely. Every other freshman on campus is missing home to some degree. It can be easier to deal with when you know everyone is feeling it. Talk to a professional on campus about how you can learn to adapt to being at school.
Clubs and Opportunities
It helps when you can replace missing friends and family with activities and clubs to keep your mind occupied. When you can make new friends and have new experiences, you’ll dwell less on missing your people back home. It’s always easier to deal with homesickness when you can distract yourself. Sitting in your room with nothing to do will only make the feelings worse.
It can take some time to adjust to being away from home as well as dealing with the ache of homesickness itself. Once you understand that it’s normal, you can begin to find ways to deal with it. Learn about the city you’re in, enjoy making new friends, join some clubs and activities or talk to staff at the school to help you deal with the sadness from getting homesick at college.