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5 Ways to Kick the College Homesickness Bug

September 8th, 2008 admin

Fighting off homesickness is often one of the biggest challenges of moving away from home-especially your first year of college-which is why I’ve written a couple of articles about how to deal with it already (see the first one here and the second one here).  So if you’re feeling a little out of your element, or just missing your summer crush, here are a few ideas to help you out of the slump:

1.  Connect

Meeting new people in college can make a huge difference in your comfort level-a friendly face in the caf or having someone to talk to in class really takes the edge off a bad day.  Wondering how to go about forming these connections?  Check out my past post about how to meet people in college.

2.  Reconnect

Moving away from home doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties with your family & friends.  It seems like every day there are new ways to keep in touch.  You’re undoubtedly IMing and emailing already, and I’ve suggested phone calls, a group blog, and text/pix messaging before, but why stop there?

Keep your friends updated (and keep up on their news) in real time with Twitter, connect with groups & old friends on Facebook, and if you just need to see a friendly face, try using Skype to make free video calls from your computer.

3.  Make Yourself at Home

Feeling out of place in your new environment usually makes homesickness worse, so try to make your dorm room “home” ASAP.  Make your side of the room your own with familiar photos, bedding, and knick-knacks, and try to learn your way around campus so it feels natural for you to be there. (Check out my post about dorm décor on the cheap for inspiration!)

4.  Journal

It’s perfectly normal to feel some apprehension or loneliness when you find yourself in such a brand-new situation, but that doesn’t mean you’re itching to spill your sorrows to your roommate.  If you’re too shy or uncomfortable to talk about missing home, don’t bottle it up!  Get your feelings out on paper (or computer screen) by keeping an informal journal.  You don’t even have to keep what you’ve written-sometimes writing just helps you get it out of your system.

If you aren’t the paper-and-pen type, try Xanga, Blogger, WordPress, or LiveJournal-you can make all of them private if you want to.

5.  Plan a Party

Having trouble meeting people or getting enough interaction with your peers?  Plan a party!  (Not only will it help you meet people, the planning process will keep your mind occupied during quiet hours).  It can be anything from the traditional definition to a casual movie night or a screening of the season premiere of your favorite show.  Your campus should have space available for you to reserve, or you can talk to your RA about using a common area in the dorms (they could probably help you publicize it, too).

Make sure the word gets out via email, posters around campus, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (and if you can, get people to bring food)!

photo: dear memories 2 by lusi

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Entry Filed under: homesickness

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jill  |  September 8th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Oddly enough, I’m not feeling too homesick yet. My roommate is desperately missing her family though. I’m sure I’ll start missing home soon though…

    I’ll come back to this article then…


  • 2. Ibrahim |  |  September 9th, 2008 at 7:39 am

    I just found this blog. What an excellent resource for freshman and seniors alike. I’m glad there are people who think it is important to share what they have learned throughout college with those who are just beginning and others who are looking to better themselves. Thanks!

  • 3. Tom Mayer  |  September 11th, 2008 at 3:02 am

    It’s a usual thing to miss those whom you spend so many years of your life. It is especially difficult to get accostomed to new life during the first year of studies. Then you find a lot of acquaintances and friends and a lot of things to do.

  • 4. Phil  |  September 16th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Another important thing is just to realise that you’re not alone, everyone else may look really happy but when they’re in their rooms alone they’ll be feeling down sometimes too – they just wont tell anyone.

    If you want, there are usually counsellors at your college/uni who wouldn’t mind talking to you about it or any other problems. We only get to be students for a few years, and it costs so much that it’s really not worth suffering in silence – with any problem that lasts for more than a few months start to think about what you can do about it. Maybe try and make a new or different group of friends, maybe talk to an experienced adult or counsellor about it, maybe you’ll have to change subject or modules – but never just hope it’ll go away on its own. Problems often do, but you’ll feel better about them if you’ve gone to effort to bring about a resolution quicker.

    Good luck and have a great time at college/uni whatever happens.

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