At some point in their college career, most students will experience some sort of homesickness. Living at a university with people you don’t know and being away from friends and family can all bring on feelings of anxiety, sadness or even depression. Late evenings or times when you aren’t busy can be the most painful times. While homesickness can be a painful emotion to experience, it also provides you with the opportunity to grow and emotionally mature. Through dealing with homesickness, you can become more independent and increase your self esteem. Here are some ways to deal with the feelings of homesickness:
Accept it – Accept the fact that you are going to miss home and feel lonely and that you will survive this.
Analyze your homesickness – What are you missing the most? Are you having trouble meeting people with the same interests as you? See which parts of your homesickness you can control.
Participate – Take part in events and organizations to meet other people.
Structure your dorm to feel like home. Decorate with posters, pictures, or other things to make your room feel more “homey”.
Stay in contact with family. Try to take trips home and call or email regularly. It’s important to stay in contact psychologically even if you can’t physically.
Limit the amount of time that you think of home. Refocus your thoughts so that your mind is busy on things that you are doing now.
Relax – Read, listen to music, exercise, or do anything else that calms you down.
Make friends – Talk to people in your dorm hall, classes, or student organizations.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Fran Fayish: firstname.lastname@example.org or call x 5922.
Myths about Homesickness
Homesickness will disappear on its own, given enough time. Talking about homesickness only makes it worse.
Fact: Students need to be given tools to recognize and face homesick feelings.
Homesickness is related to geographical distance.
Fact: "Cultural distance" is a risk factor for homesickness, but distance in miles is not.
A younger student is more likely than older student to be homesick.
Fact: A student of any age who has no previous separation experience is more likely to be homesick than a younger student who's been away from home.
Only first-year students get homesick.
Fact: Changes in the home or school environment can make even a college junior or senior have persistent thoughts about being back home.
Contact with home will only make homesickness worse.
Fact: Contact with home deepens homesickness only to the extent that it gets in the way of engaging with new campus environment.