What to Do When You’re Feeling Homesick

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For many first-year college students, living on a college campus is their first time living away from home for an extended period of time.

Not only are these students forced to adjust to the rigor and stress of college coursework, but they’re also required to live independently in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people at every turn.

For some students, living away from home is a dream come true. For others, feelings of homesickness quickly begin to tug at their hearts, and those feelings often don’t go away easily.

If you’re currently feeling homesick and believe there’s no way you’ll be able to survive the semester, know that homesickness does lessen over time, oftentimes on its own. However, there are a few quicker ways to squelch your homesick feelings.

  1. Spend time outside your dorm.

Even though you may have one or more roommates to keep you company, it still isn’t a good idea to stay cooped up in your dorm room at every available opportunity.

Making new friends requires social interaction, and that can’t happen very effectively if you spend most of your time alone or with the same couple of people.

What does making friends have to do with curing homesickness? Friends can help you cope with your homesick feelings, either by allowing you to vent or by helping you forget about your homesickness altogether.

As an added bonus, having multiple friends on campus can help you feel more comfortable, which can help you start to recognize college as a home away from home.

  1. Join an organization.

Joining on-campus organizations is a great way to rid yourself of homesick feelings. Not only do organizations look great on resumes, but they can also put you in touch with people who share your hobbies or interests.

Once you join an organization, you’ll probably start to recognize several familiar faces after just a few meetings. Chances are, if you see the same people again and again, you will start to form friendships with them.

  1. Keep regular – not constant – contact with family.

Some believe the keys to homesickness are to either avoid all contact with family members or to contact them at every free moment. Neither is necessarily the case.

One of the best ways to combat homesickness is to keep contact with your family members on a regular, not constant basis. Set aside time every couple days to call home and catch up with your family, and make sure your family members know how regularly you plan to keep in touch.

Sticking to a regular contact schedule allows you to focus on your new life in college, while still maintaining your relationship with family.

Although many students experience homesick feelings at some point during their first year of college, most all homesickness can be cured, often by implementing a few simple tips like the ones mentioned above.

For more college-related tips, check out my other Campus Buddy articles at http://campusbuddy.com/author/hollynelms/.

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Holly Nelms studies Mass Communications at East Tennessee State University. She loves writing and hopes to become a journalist after graduation.

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