Dealing With Homesickness – Part 1

In this two-part posting, I’ll cover the topic of dealing with homesickness.

  • Part 1 will focus on helping you understand why you feel the way you do and give you some tips for coping with these internal feelings.
  • Part 2 will give you some more direct actions that you can take to make dealing with homesickness a little easier.

College-bound high school students spend so much time preparing for college, that it can be easy to forget how much you may just miss being back at home.  Being homesick is fairly common for most college students, but for a select few, it can be difficult to overcome.  The first step in dealing with homesickness is to understand your feelings and learn to cope with them.

Why Do I Feel This Way?

The first thing that you should realize is that missing home can be a good thing.  This is likely a sign that you had happy, healthy relationships with people that you love and care about back at home.  It can be difficult for a first year college student to get use to unfamiliar people and new routines.

Even though many students may not admit it, a lot of first-year students experience at least some degree of homesickness during their first few months of school (even if they don’t talk about it).  So, don’t be too hard on yourself for experiencing completely normal feelings.  It’s simply a part of getting adjusted to college.

It’s Okay To Be Sad…

Trying to deny the fact that you’re feeling sad is probably not the best solution.  It’s okay to acknowledge the fact that you miss home and allow yourself to be sad for a little while.  It’s important to get the feelings out of your system.  Give yourself a day or so, here or there to be sad.

But, the important thing is to not be sad for extended periods of time.  If you find yourself feeling overwhelmingly sad for weeks at a time, it might be worth it to stop by the campus counseling center to talk about how you’re feeling.  You won’t be the first student in their office who’s showed up because they miss home (trust me)!

Give Yourself Time

Realize that college is a huge step and you’ve undergone a lot of major changes over the past few months.  Give yourself credit for what you’ve done: you moved out of home to an entirely new place, you left all your friends, you might be in a new city, state, or even country, and you have a completely new schedule to manage.

You have a lot of new responsibilities, from managing your own money, to learning a new academic system and campus culture. This can all be a lot to get use to, so give yourself a little time to get adjusted to everything and do what you can to make your new school into your new home.

In Part 2, I’ll give you some guidance on what you can do to transform your new school into your new home…

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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