Whether you’re in your first year or your fourth year, college homesickness is going to hit you.
Sometimes it will hit hard.
You may be too proud to admit it. You may even hide how you’re feeling from your friends and family.
But don’t. Don’t ignore it, don’t bottle it up. That will only make matters worse. Instead, do something about it.
Luckily, we have a pretty foolproof cure for college homesickness. Sure, it won’t replace the feeling of climbing into your bed back home or burying your face in your dog’s fur. But it will help you get through.
Remember, it’s normal.
First of all, remember that homesickness is completely normal. It means that, back home, you have people that you care enough about to miss. It’s also evidence that you’re learning how to adapt to a new, exciting life. That in itself might make you feel a little better!
Try not to be hard on yourself. What you’re feeling is something that all college students go through. Even though it may not seem like it, your classmates have been through it, too.
Go ahead – be sad for a little while.
Key words: “for a little while.”
It’s healthy to embrace how you’re feeling and take a short ride on the emotional rollercoaster. The catch is you have to be ready to pick yourself up.
Sure, it’s okay to have a day or two to wallow in your homesickness. Cozy up in bed with some tearjerker movies and mountains of nachos. Forget to shower. Sleep in a few hours. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself to deal with how you’re feeling head on.
But afterward, it’s time to get to work. Stand up, brush yourself off (maybe shower, too, please) and focus on making the most of your new life in college.
Get out of your dorm.
You’ve already taken some time to hide under the covers and let yourself be sad for a while. Now, it’s time to get out there, champ. After all, if you’re in your dorm room all the time, how are you going to meet new people. How will you get the full college experience?
Spend as much time as you can out of your dorm room. Explore your campus. Try new places to eat lunch. Read a book in the quad. Not only will you get to try some new things, but it will take your mind off that homesick feeling, too.
Make room for yourself.
One of the reasons college homesickness hits especially hard in your freshman year is the unfamiliarity of your surroundings.
When you think of “home,” you might think of the comfy corner of the couch where you watched game shows with Dad on weeknights. Or maybe your spot at the kitchen table where you and your sister studied together. Back home, there are so many spots and spaces that have memories attached to them.
You might not have those just yet at college, and it can feel a little discomforting.
The best thing to do? Start carving a space for yourself at school. Find a nice spot outside to study under the sun. Splurge on some new dorm decorations that remind you of your room back home. When you have a space that feels like your own, the homesickness starts to fade.
Connect with home.
Sometimes the best cure for college homesickness is a simple call home. Moms and Dads have a way of making it feel like it will all be okay. Same goes for best friends. Or maybe there’s a boyfriend or girlfriend back home that you’re missing?
No matter who it is you’re missing, calling them up will definitely give your heart a break. Talk to them about all the exciting things going on in your life. Make sure you focus on the positive while you’re on the phone and try to only call a few times a week.
Of course, if you’re feeling really down, a trip back home might be in order. Head back home for a weekend and make the most of it. Absorb all the love you can, and inhale all the home cooking you can. A trip home when you really need it is great, but don’t make it a every-weekend type of thing.
Hang out with your college friends.
Making new friends is absolutely essential when you head to college. So, join a new club or activity to meet new friends. Then, spend some time together and do something fun.
Once you’ve made some great friendships at school, it will start feel more like home. Having a good time with friends is exactly what you need right now.
You won’t always feel this way. In fact, you’ll probably feel more at home at your school before you know it.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll never get a little homesick again. There will definitely be times when you ache to be back in the warmness of your own home.
But it gets easier every day – especially when you do something about how you’re feeling. So, whenever you start feeling down, remember this cure for college homesickness!
Moms and Dads: it’s okay for you to be sad when your child goes to college, too! Here are some tips for you.