College life can get overwhelming, especially if you live away from home for the first time. The transition from high school to college is already a massive change. On top of that, figuring out a new environment without your family can also be extremely difficult. So, here are some tips and tricks on how you can tackle homesickness while you enjoy your college experience to the fullest.
Stay in Touch With the People You Love
I'm in Berasmus in Belgium & won't be back in Ireland until June. I have been trying to schedule calls with different people a couple of times a week/putting up photos of them to motivate me/letting myself cry when i feel homesick. u don't miss them less but u cope with it better <3— aoif 🦕 (@aaaaoif) February 18, 2021
Call your family and friends consistently. Being away does not mean you won't get to talk to them. Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, check in with someone familiar to help yourself calm down. Tell them how you're feeling, and try to do online activities with them, such as watching movies or studying together. Interactions with people you know will help you gain stability as you navigate your new schedule and surroundings.
Take Regular Breaks
I watch @theofficenbc to cope with being slightly homesick right now.— NickyP (@pereznick8) January 12, 2016
College life can suddenly become very fast-paced. Remember that it's okay to step away from this hustle and bustle and unwind in case it gets overwhelming. It might be a good idea to allot some time for self-care activities such as skin care, journaling, and exercising.
Watch your comfort show, listen to your favorite artist or playlist, or watch videos of your favorite vlogger. Take care of your mental health needs, listen to your mind and body, and reward yourself every time you accomplish something you struggle with.
Connect With People Around You
So grateful that i have amazing friends here that help me cope with homesick-ness 😭— aisyaidhm (@aisyaidhm) December 7, 2019
Remember that almost everyone around you is probably going through the same thing. They're all feeling overwhelmed, lost, confused, and lonely. If you have a roommate, make sure you mutually agree on a time or activity that you could do together to build your bond and create a safe space for yourself. Socializing in college can be terrifying, so having that comfortable space with your roommate to return to every night would be helpful. When you feel homesick, you miss the comfort and familiarity of the people around you. While it will be difficult initially, you can replicate a similar feeling in college over time. Once you start with your roommate or neighbor, you can do so with people you might share classes with.
Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities
Try to join clubs and societies at your college. They are an excellent place to find like-minded people to develop strong, long-term bonds. Sometimes you vibe with some people, and sometimes you don't, and that's completely okay. Finding the right set of people can be difficult, but you will eventually be able to create a support system for yourself that eases the feeling of homesickness. Clubs and societies will also give you a space to discuss and practice things you're passionate about, which will distract you and help you blend into your new environment better.
Explore the Space Around You
Nothing like a good night out in Glasgow to help cope with homesick blues. pic.twitter.com/e86YFFL5TH— Geraldine (@GeraldineG3) January 17, 2016
Go out and find spots around your college where you can hang out with friends or go by yourself when you need a break, like cafes and parks. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with your campus, area of residence, and public spaces like gyms, museums, and libraries.
Plan outings by yourself or with people you meet to visit these places or explore something new together. This would be an excellent bonding activity, and you would feel more comfortable in your surroundings, which would help with homesickness.
Pay Attention to Academics
These days I’m working very hard on overcoming my social anxiety . I share my ideas with my classmates and professors, talk to people more, and express myself freely . I’m making more friends too . I think I’m doing a good job — ✶ (@_lovneon) February 1, 2023
People often get lost in the hustle-bustle of college life along with newly found independence and forget that one of the most important things you're here for is your education. Be active in your learning, but balance it with life outside academics. It's scary at first because academics in college are a giant leap from high school, but once you have a schedule and get used to it, it won't seem that difficult.
Connect with your professors. This can be terrifying too, but many of them understand where you're coming from and would be happy to just talk to you or answer any of your questions! Understanding their area of expertise helps you figure out what you want to pursue in the future, and if their work interests you, you can request them for some form of mentorship and guidance. Focusing on academics would help constantly remind you that you're a part of this experience to do something in the future. If you realize that college or that particular stream may not be the one for you, it's also good to know to explore what you want to pursue.
Bring Objects That Remind You of Home
Hey, #AcademicTwitter I have been a bit homesick lately. I decided to use this necklace that my mom gave as a gift so I can have a little piece of home close to my heart. If you are also #homesick, how do you cope with it? @PhD_Genie @OpenAcademics @emazural__ @madhurarrao @PhDVoice pic.twitter.com/at3n22fS7E— Andrea Catalina Fajardo (@ancafajardo) August 10, 2021
Keep your favorite soft toy, the lights in your room at home, a plant, or anything that reminds you of home. Keeping these objects close would help you feel safe and comfortable in your new space. While they can make you emotional and may even trigger homesickness sometimes, they will create a sense of familiarity that will help you ease into college life. They will also be a constant reminder that among all the unfamiliarity and chaos, you have something stable with you that will help ground you when you're feeling scared or disturbed.
Replicate Activities and Routines
Another thing to help make you feel stable and calm is replicating activities you did at home. If you go to the gym four days a week, continue that in college. If you have a movie night with your best friends every weekend, do that with them online. Even if it's something you hate, like your mom making you clean your closet every two weeks, do it. You will also have to make drastic changes since your schedule will change, but maintaining these activities would help bring consistency to your routine, easing your transition from home to college.
While going back home for breaks or your friends and family visiting you often is always an option, these are some things you can do to ensure you enjoy yourself in college and cope with feeling homesick. It's also okay to allow yourself to feel intense emotions, but when you need a distraction, engage with your environment and the people around you to familiarize yourself. Lastly, remember: it's an intimidating experience, but almost everyone is in the same boat! Don't be afraid to connect with them. Enjoy yourself, and you'll get accustomed to college in no time!