Going away to college can be a really exciting change, but often times with change comes discomfort. Some uncomfortable emotions that may come up as you transition to living away from home include sadness, anxiety, and loneliness. All of these feelings are what people often refer to as “homesickness”. Listed below are some helpful ways of dealing with homesickness.
Check in with Friends and Family
Make a plan to check in with your friends and family back home on a regular basis. Doing so can help you feel connected to your loved ones even though they may be far away. Also, schedule days for friends and family to come visit you at college. This way you will have something to look forward to when you are missing them. Having support at college can make a big impact for a successful transition.
Bring some decorations or pictures from your house in order to create a sense of “home away from home.” The decorations, or pictures, will make your dorm room or apartment feel more like home and less like a foreign space.
Focus on the Positives
Focus on the positives while at college in order to help distract you from feelings of sadness. Do you have a favorite class that you’re really excited about, or maybe you’re eager to go to your first school football game. Whatever the new activities are, remind yourself that you wouldn’t have these opportunities if you didn’t take the risk of moving away from home.
Join a club or organization to start to make new friends. Many schools have informational fairs during the first week of classes to introduce new students to all of the clubs and organizations they have. Even if you are slightly interested in the club or organization sign up for their email list to get updates. If it’s something that you aren’t interested in receiving at a later date, you can always unsubscribe. You never know what you’ll be interested in until you have all of the information.
Build a Support System
Know who the supports in your community are so that you can connect with them if and when you need to. Resident Assistants, or RAs, are used to helping new students deal with homesickness. Most colleges and universities have counseling centers where you can speak with a therapist about your feelings. Outside counseling agencies, like The Light Program, can also provide counselors who are trained in helping individuals cope with the feelings that come along with homesickness.
If you are experiencing homesickness, and would like to talk with a counselor from The Light Program, check out our locations to find one that is close to you, or call (888) 686-7511.