How To Deal With Feeling Homesick In College

You’re in college. You’re experiencing all of these new things. You’re meeting new people. And your workload is already starting to pile up. Yet, there’s a feeling of homesickness that seems to be lurking in the pit of your stomach. Sound familiar? Even if you’ve got a lot of stuff going on in your life, you can still feel the pangs of being away from your friends and family.

College is an adjustment, especially for college freshman. And even if you’re in your upper years, you might struggle with going back to school every fall, especially if you spent the summer at home. All of the feelings of homesickness are the same so if you’re missing your loved ones, take a look at these tips for feeling less homesick in college.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

If you were going to college a few decades ago, you would have had to rely on the telephone and handwritten letters to stay in contact with your friends and family. Now, we have so many options to connect with our loved ones between email, texting, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, you name it. Use your favorite social media networks to stay in contact with your friends and see how they're doing. Consider joining a WhatsApp group, Gchat someone when you're feeling stressed, or be old-fashioned and send them a handwritten letter in the post. They'll probably love the surprise.

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Display Some Photos Of Your Friends And Family

Some people might find that hanging up photos of friends and family in their rooms might make them miss their loved ones more. Don't discount the idea until you try it because a lot of people will find it reassuring when they look at the photos. It'll give you a sense your loved ones are still there and you'll remember the happy times from the photos. If you didn't pack photos, change your phone and/or computer screensaver to pics of your peeps.

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Consider Arranging Scheduled Calls

Could part of the reason that you're feeling homesick be because every time you call or text someone they're MIA? If it's making you feel more alone, consider arranging scheduled phone calls. That way, you know both of you will be free. You'll also be able to look forward to the calls as they draw near. Just be aware that you'll need a bit of flexibility even with scheduled calls because of busy schedules, last-minute plans, etc.

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Join A Group Or Activity

It's understandable that you want to stay connected with your friends and family. I would never say to avoid doing that. What I'm suggesting in this point is that in addition to staying in the loop with your existing loved ones, you consider expanding your circle by joining a group or activity. It doesn't have to be a sport and it doesn't necessarily have to be something on campus. It could be an informal book club in your neighborhood or a TV meetup someone in your dorm has arranged.  The benefit is you'll connect with people in your area, which will hopefully make you feel less alone and therefore a little less homesick.

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Put It Into Perspective

When we're feeling vulnerable, our feelings of homesickness can intensify. And our minds can make things feel worse. Try to remember that you're going through an adjustment period. Everything is new and you're trying to figure out where you belong. It will all work itself out. What's more, it's perfectly normal to feel homesick. It doesn't make you weak, a baby, or anything else. Don't feel any shame in it and know that the feelings will dissipate as time goes on and you get a routine down.

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Talk To Somebody About It

Don't feel that you need to keep quiet about feeling homesick. You might think that if you bring it up, you'll feel *guilty* for getting others involved. Don't feel that way. These are your feelings. You know what? I guarantee others are feeling the same way. You can talk to your friends and family about how you're feeling. If you've gotten close to someone at college, you could chat to them about homesickness. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, or your feelings are overwhelming, talk to a professional. There is always someone who wants to listen.

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Write Out Your Feelings

Are you someone who prefers to write rather than speak? Put pen to paper and try to put into words what's going on in your head. It can be a cathartic experience and help you see more clearly why you're feeling homesick. If you want to write your feelings and tell them to people/send the letter, you can do that. Or, you can keep track of your feelings in a diary. Either option will work.

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What other adjustments are you dealing with in college? Let us know in the comments!


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