Homesickness…they say it takes around six days to strike, but it may be less or more depending on your personality. Some people hardly ever feel it at all. Others want to go home almost every weekend.
Wherever you fall along that scale, it’s important to know how to deal with it if and when homesickness does happen to you.
1. Get Involved
Start making your university a place you enjoy by getting involved in activities, teams, or clubs that interest you. Not only are these things a great way to make friends, but you’ll also find that you love college more if you love what you do there.
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Sign-ups for sports and other activities are often posted on your school’s websites or on bulletin boards around campus.
Another great way to find out about these kinds of things is to talk to upperclassmen. Ask them if your school has a team for a particular activity, and where sign-ups are located.
If all else fails, you can always email a faculty member in that particular area of interest.
2. Say Yes
After you’ve been on campus for a little while you’ll learn to balance your schoolwork with social activities. But right now while the workload is still relatively light, get out and do things with others whenever you can.
If your hall or wing is making a snack run, tag along. When someone asks you to play a game or watch a movie, try to adopt saying “yes” as a rule as often as possible.
Don’t neglect your schoolwork, but also don’t focus only on that. It’s easy during your first few days to sit alone in your room and think about how much you miss home.
College is a place to make lifelong friendships as well as get an education. You’ll begin to settle into life away from home once you’ve got friends you love spending time with. Most often, activities are the quickest way to make those connections.
3. Bring Home to the Dorm
Print out pictures of your friends and family to hang in your room. It may seem counterintuitive, but seeing their faces actually helps. It reminds you they’ll always be an important part of your life, even if they’re not here right now.
Bring some of your favorite things from home to use as decorations in your dorm room. It’ll make you feel more comfortable in your new room.
Remember to leave room for new pictures and memories, too! You’ll be making plenty of those.
Don’t be afraid to call the people you miss every once in awhile, or even write real letters. Just try not to lean too heavily on what you’ve left behind.
Go home as little as possible during your first semester; perhaps even limit yourself to scheduled holiday breaks if you can.
Don’t cut off all your friends and family, but allow yourself the time and opportunity to make new friends, too. You’ll be glad you did!