Whether or not it’s your first year, homesickness is very common. According to Hap, “69% of first year college students experience severe homesickness.”
It starts with your living space
The place you go to sleep every night and wake up to every morning has a large impact on your mood throughout the day. Make this space your home away from home. Put some pictures of family and home friends around to have them with you. Bring your favorite pillow or stuffed animal with you to have that piece of your room in your new bed. Decorate the space to make it homey and comfortable and a place you like to be with some plants or posters. By making your new room homey, it becomes a comfortable place to come to after your day, making it your home away from home.
Make time to call
College is busy. To ensure you have time to call home, coordinate with the people you miss. Schedule these calls for your walk home from class, while eating a quick meal between classes, or before bed. By scheduling calls, it will give you time to go live your own life and explore your new place. Waiting in your room or being on the phone all the time may make your homesickness worse because you’re not enjoying your new space and making new friends. Make time for it, but don’t let it be all your time.
Find your place
A new place means new opportunities, clubs, and activities. Getting comfortable in a new place starts with finding your community and connecting with other people who enjoy the things you do. A few places to look are sports you played in high school, clubs within your major, or opportunities in your religious or cultural groups. Making new friends and doing what you love will help you not think about missing home as much and over time may turn into your away from home family.
Talk to someone
Feeling homesick can be a lonely feeling, but you’re not alone. It’s something most people deal with when at a new place. Talk to the people around you, a roommate or a new friend. They might give you some advice on how they’re dealing with it or be there with you through the process. Most universities have counselors and advisors you can talk to if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend.