How To Cope With Homesickness

You’ll be told from your first day of orientation that you’re going to be treated like an adult from here on out.

But let’s face it: being away at school, especially if you’re a while away from home, can be rough no matter your age. I’m a senior in college and sometimes all I really want is to curl up at home with my dog and watch cartoons with my little brothers.

Being homesick happens and there are ways to combat this distracting and distressing foe.

Call home

Sometimes just hearing a family member’s voice can help you through those moments when you’re wondering just why you decided to move five states away in the first place. I’ve spoken to some fellow students who call home once a day. It’s not weird or dorky or immature. It’s perfectly human.

Hang out with friends

Building closer relationships with friends on campus can help beat the homesick blues. Nights alone in your dorm can be replaced with study parties, movie nights, or even spontaneous trips to the nearest grocery store. Friends can become a second family who’ll be there for you when your real one can’t.

If you don’t know anyone at your new school, there are plenty of ways to help fix that.

  • Go to campus events and activities (even if you go alone)
  • Study in the student center or library, not alone in your room
  • Join student clubs or organizations (if a club looks interesting to you, join! Not only will you meet people, but they’ll share your interests.)
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to people (your classmates, other students on your dormitory floor, etc.)

Have someone from home visit for the weekend

Having a friendly, familiar face to break through the constant flow of unknown ones can do wonders to help with missing home. If you’re not too far away, ask a sibling, cousin, friend, or anyone you like to come up for the weekend to stay with you and see your school.

Keep yourself busy

If you know that you tend to get homesick when you don’t have anything to do, find something to do! Review your notes from class; pick up that book you’ve been meaning to start; go for a coffee / ice cream / movie rental run with a friend; go for a run or work out. Find something to do to keep yourself active.

Do you have homework?

It’s probably the last thing you want to hear, but it’s a good way to keep your mind busy. You’ll also stay on track with your homework, which is always a plus.

Think positive.

If you’re missing your family and friends at home, chances are they’re missing you, too. Don’t worry, they won’t move on or forget about you just because you had to go away to college.

A friend of mine moved from Hawaii to Illinois when he began college and he kept all of his friends from home and stayed very close with his family. If you feel like you haven’t spoken to someone from back home in a while, give them a call to catch up. College may not always be easy, but when you finally get that have diploma in your hand, it’ll be worth every second.

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Ana Koulouris

Ana Koulouris

Ana Koulouris is a senior at Benedictine University in Illinois pursuing a degree in writing and publishing. When she is not at work in the Office of Admissions or on the university's newspaper, she can be found writing short stories, reading anything and everything, and spending time with family and friends.