Homesickness is a normal part of college, but it doesn’t have to rule your college experience. We talked to mental health professionals and college girls like you to find out what you can do to conquer homesickness in college!
Remember homesickness is normal; EVERYONE feels it at some point, in some way, and it will go away – it’s not forever. In the meantime, make yourself some new routines. Find a public place to study such as a coffee shop, library, or student union and schedule specific times to go. Loneliness can make it hard to concentrate, so having the hubbub of humanity around you will lift you up, and even helps some people concentrate. And you never know, you might make some new friends. – Sara Pascoe, PhD
Stay out of your dorm room: If you’ve got the blues, it will be SO tempting to want to stay in. But this is the time to meet people and explore. And perhaps you’re an introvert—don’t put pressure on yourself to socialize constantly. Instead, go for a long walk around campus to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.The point is that you don’t keep yourself locked up in your bunk bed. – Lauren Cook
It’s hard, but it will get easier.
Know that the first week will be the hardest: Especially the first night. No one probably admits it, but almost everyone cries their first night away from home. It’s a jolt. But trust that it will get better. If you make an honest effort to make friends, try out new things, and engage in your coursework, you’ll be surprised by how resilient you really are. – Lauren Cook
Bring a piece of home with you!
This can be anything from pictures of friends and family to stuffed animals. Having something that reminds you of home will help give you the comfort and reassurance you need without actually having to go back home. It will help make the transition easier. – Kim Tran
The more you can focus your attention away from the fact that you aren’t home, the easier it’ll become. Making friends in school is a biggie- if you don’t feel like you have social connections at school, you’ll definitely miss the connections you have at home. Stay occupied with extracurricular activities, plan outings with your friends at school, and take advantage of all that your school and the surrounding town has to offer. Make college feel like your second home! – Brianna Fae
Surround yourself with love.
Talk to your friends about how you feel! Chances are they are going through the same thing you are. After all, it’s easy to face any trial when you’re not alone. My friends and I like to have Disney movie marathons to take care of the family feels. Disney always reminds us of home and friends quickly become family over movie nights! – Kristin Vartan
One of the most important things to remember about homesickness in college is that you are not alone. You are surrounded by other women just like you who are homesick too. So reach out to them – ask them about their home life and share your own photos and stories. It will help you connect and make friends while dealing with your homesickness. – Dr. Caitlin Faas
Create a plan!
Homesickness can often stem from feeling like something is out of balance, or missing. It can be very beneficial to take a step back and look at what has changed other than your location and distance. Compare what daily habits and activities were at home to what your day-to-day looks like now… activities, the amount of time to yourself, your balance of friend time and downtime, the amount of exercise accomplished daily, eating habits, volunteer hours, etc. The space for homesickness to creep in may be from feeling disengaged or lacking in an area that is important to you. Next, make a plan to fill that gap, go to campus meetings for volunteer opportunities, join a recreational sports team, join a club on campus or a running group, or structure quiet time to yourself. It may even be having structure itself is what feels lacking, so creating a more definitive schedule for yourself will alleviate homesickness greatly. – Christina Rowe