Battling Homesickness

It is common for many college students to become homesick at different points during their college careers. Sometimes it is the prospect of missing a big event like a wedding or a birthday party or being close a loved one who is ill. Other times, students grow homesick when they are just leafing through old photographs or talking with a friend from home on the telephone. Whatever the reason for this strong, nostalgic feeling, it is a bridge you will most likely cross at one point or another. The basic solution is to be proactive. Do not allow these feelings to consume you to the point of distraction.

The obvious solution is to go home. If you live within four hours of home, plan to go home one weekend a month. Keep in mind that you do not want to grow accustomed to going home constantly. Part of the college experience is to develop your independent spirit. If you are heading back home every weekend, you will lose out on that key aspect of your personal growth. When you do go home, make sure that you stay active and don’t just lie on the couch the whole time. If you are lazy when you go home, then you will begin to develop that into your routine and you will look to your parents’ house as a safety net. When you’re home, go out with friends and family and come back to school rejuvenated.

Many people become homesick because they are not meeting enough new friends. Making friends can be difficult and stressful. Look around campus for events that pique your interest. If you like playing basketball, go to the gym and join in a pickup game. If you are into singing, find out if there are any campus groups that you can join. The key is to go places where people with similar interests are congregating. You are not going to meet people by staying in your dorm room and sitting on the computer all day and night. Get out there and put yourself in uncomfortable situations where you can interact with other students.

Participating in your classes will help make you feel more comfortable in the college environment. If you just sit in the back of the classroom and keep your mouth shut, your classmates will never know how you feel about the material and they will never get a glimpse of the person you really are. Your classes are a perfect place to make friends. You will find that discussions that begin in class will carry over once class is over.