Starting college is an exciting and transformative journey. It’s a time of new experiences, personal growth, and intellectual exploration. However, it can also be accompanied by a common and natural feeling: homesickness. Missing the familiarity of home, the comfort of family, and the security of your hometown is a common experience for many college students. The good news is that there are practical strategies to help you cope with homesickness and make the most of your time away from home.
1. Stay Connected with Loved Ones Through Technology
In today’s digital age, staying connected with your loved ones has never been easier. While tech use can get a bit out of control and even stand in the way of connection right here right now, we can also use it intentionally to balance staying in touch with home while forging new relationships and experiences at school. Make use of video calls, instant messaging, and social media to maintain regular contact with family and friends. Scheduled video chats can provide a sense of routine and connection. Share your experiences and listen to theirs; it’s a great way to bridge the gap between your old life and your new one.
2. Create a New Home Away from Home
Transforming your dorm room or off-campus apartment into a cozy space that reflects your personality can help combat homesickness. As you bring familiar items from home, such as photos, bedding or decorations, this helps to make your living space feel familiar and more comfortable. Create a new routine that includes activities you enjoy, whether reading for pleasure, painting, or playing your favorite instrument.
3. Seek Support from Friends and Local Resources on Campus
You’re not alone in your homesickness, and your college campus is filled with people who can relate to your feelings. Reach out to your roommate, floormates or classmates, as they may be experiencing the same emotions. Attend campus events and join clubs or organizations to meet new people and build a support network. Reach out for counseling to help you navigate this transition and any challenges.
4. Participate in Self-Care Activities
While it may not always feel like you have time or need for self care, build it into your schedule. Not only do routines help us maintain a sense of normalcy, keeping your self care tank well fueled will help you weather any storm with more clarity, in a more grounded way. As cliche as it may sound, taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial during transition periods. Schedule it. Practice sticking with a regular sleep routine, fuel well, and exercise regularly to boost your mood and reduce stress. Additionally, consider practicing mindfulness based strategies like meditation or yoga. All of these help manage anxiety and sadness.
5. Embrace New Experiences
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the opportunity to explore new places, people and things. Embrace these experiences as they can help distract you from homesickness and expand your life. Attend different campus events, explore new spots, and give a try to new hobbies or activities. See what you like the most these days.
6. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Supportive Routine
Creating a daily routine can help provide structure and stability, reducing the feeling of being adrift in a new environment. Balance time for studying, socializing, and self-care activities. Having a routine can make your days more predictable and manageable, which can also alleviate homesickness.
7. Plan Visits Home
Knowing that you have a trip home or away with new and old friends coming up can also ease homesickness. Plan visits during breaks or long weekends when possible . Spending time with family and friends can recharge your emotional batteries and remind you of the support system waiting for you back home. That said, avoid going home all the time even if you are able to. Don’t let that get in your way of building your new life. Balance is key.
8. Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can be a helpful way to capture your experiences, process homesickness. It allows you to express yourself, identify patterns in your emotions, and track your progress in coping with homesickness. We would be happy to guide you through this process and how to use it to your advantage.
9. Seek Professional Help if Needed
While homesickness is a common and temporary feeling, this is a common challenge we support students with. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Homesickness doesn’t have to negatively affect your academic or personal life. At Lotus Consulting, we provide college counseling services that include successfully transitioning away from home and into the new life.
While homesickness is a natural part of the college experience, which tends to improve with time, we are here to help. Be patient with yourself as you’re navigating this new journey and reach out! You can contact us via email and our website or call 734-992-7700.