As exciting as it is to be living the highly anticipated college life, moving away from home certainly has its tough aspects. Although different students experience varying degrees of homesickness, it is only natural for that emotional feeling to come up at least every now and then. But for those who experience it more frequently, necessary forms of support and reassurance are extremely important to get through college in a healthy and happy way.
If you do find yourself getting homesick more often than some of your peers, don’t be concerned and don’t worry that you’re not enjoying the college experience as you should be. You’re allowed to miss your family and hometown friends and still be able to appreciate this new world you’re in. However, if you don’t know how to handle this homesickness just right, you do risk losing sight of the positive experiences of college. The key here is figuring out the best way for you personally to get through this emotional state in such a way that allows you to stay invested in your college career at the same time.
Learning to acquire such a stable mindset isn’t always easy, especially with so much pressure on you to do so. By identifying ways to feel comfortable with these emotions, consistently staying in touch with your distant loved ones, and recognizing all forms of support available to you, managing these unsettling sentiments can be much more feasible than you’d think.
Set up regular phone and Skype conversations: It’s one thing to simply say you’ll catch up on the phone soon with an old friend, but incorporating weekly or monthly chats into your schedules can immensely help your ability to stay in close communication. There is something very comforting about the fact that you definitely have a time set up to talk, rather than just assuming and hoping it will happen. Moreover, making sure you are regularly conversing with those family members and friends that you miss so much is vital to staying secure with your relationships with them. If being apart from them is really hurting you, just talking on such a consistent basis will prove to be an effective way of maintaining that closeness. You may be apart physically, but your bonds can stay strong.
Have your favorite photos nearby: This is a little thing that helps a ton. With all of our pictures so conveniently stored on Facebook and in our smart phones, we tend to get lazy when it comes to printing them out. It’s certainly not unheard of to print out pictures – and frankly is still pretty common – but college students who have moved away are particularly encouraged to do it. Although you can scroll through your photos online at any time to re-live some old memories, having them posted on the wall right in front of you is a big comfort. When you’re working on a killer assignment in your dorm and start randomly feeling lonesome and nostalgic, a nice photo of your family or prom pictures with your friends can really warm up your mood. Taping these pictures up at your desk or by your bed is a small gesture that can immediately make you feel at home in the midst of whatever events you are going through. Here is a great list of 8 things to bring to your dorm room that may help you feel more at home.
Schedule the right amount of visits: Depending on how far away your school is from your home, this could be easy or it could very difficult. Either outcome, it is something that is worth looking into and executing rightfully. Similar to the routine phone/Skype conversations, scheduling visits ahead of time will make you feel relieved and reassured that you are seeing your family and friends. There is a thin line, though, between visiting too often and visiting just enough. While it is healthy and essential to make sure your visits are more than just rare occurrences, it is advisable to avoid making these visits too frequent. For instance, if you plan these trips both here and there every single weekend, you’re ultimately going to have an even tougher time adjusting to living away from home since you’ll barely have the chance to actually be on your own. The more you see these people, the harder it will be to say goodbye each time. Certainly set aside a good amount of weekends to travel home and/or have your family and friends travel to you, but don’t make the situation even harder on yourself than it needs to be by avoiding the reality you are trying to transition into. You may also want to check out this information on how to choose your first college roommate as they may have a large impact on how you adjust to your life away from home.
Find things at school that remind you of home: Was there a really fun concert venue in your hometown? A coffee shop you loved going to? A school club you had a blast with? Odds are there are similar places and groups in your new college town. Take some of the things you miss most about home and try to find their equivalents on campus. If music or volunteering was an integral part of your high school career that brought you happiness, join a similar organization now. Specifically joining clubs in college is a terrific way to bond with a tight group of people very quickly, and the results are even better when the group is based on something you genuinely love doing. Find places as well that you just enjoy going to. You’re not going to find exact replicas of the hang-outs you enjoyed back home, but have an open mind and give these new places a chance. You may find something that complements you even better. Here are some great tips to help you choose extracurricular activities that will best suit you!
If you establish such supportive tactics for yourself, you’ll be calling your campus your second home before you know it. The next time you go back home, you may ironically be feeling a little homesick for college. Always remember that it’s completely okay to feel this way about both places and that by staying strong with a mature attitude about it, the issue will minimize in no time.