Dealing with Homesickness

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For some, going away to college is the first time they have lived away from home. It might even be the first time you've moved in your life. It is normal to feel some homesickness at some point and long to be back in a place where you were more comfortable and sure of your own role. Once you get over this hurdle, though, you'll find yourself with a new sense of independence and self-identity. It really is an exciting thing.

Staying in Contact

Depending on your emotional constitution, staying in constant contact with friends and family back home can either contribute to or decrease your homesickness. For some, the contact could prevent them from making meaningful connections in their new surroundings, as they are content to more or less live in the past. This would be very unfortunate, since those new connections are the most effective weapon against homesickness. For others, however, consistent contact with friends and family can quell their worries about life carrying on without them, or provide them the emotional support they need to make a go of it on their own.

Giving It an Honest Shot

Ultimately, what is going to prevent homesickness and encourage you to be comfortable at school is giving everything an honest shot. By raising your expectations of yourself and the life you can lead at school, you'll be more open to new experiences, new relationships, and maybe even a slightly newer you. This is not to say that you completely abandon the relationships and lifestyle you had at home, but you do need to build a life for yourself where you are.

Giving Yourself Time

Some people can adapt to new situations extremely quickly, make friends really fast, and move forward without much thought. Not everyone is like this; it is not the norm. If you find that you are frustrated with homesickness and displacement, remember to be patient with yourself and your environment. It could be a little while before you find a circle of friends you really connect with or feel that you know your campus as well as you know your hometown.

TIP: If you find that your homesickness is having a strong negative effect on you, there should be counseling available to students somewhere on your campus. Seek help if you need it.

Care Packages

Of course, if you're really homesick, you could drop a few hints and see if your parents or friends will send you a care package. If you miss your mother's baking or a certain kind of soda you can only get at home, you might just find them in the mail in a few days. Sometimes these little creature comforts can go a long way toward making us feel more at home in a strange place.

The most important part of dealing with homesickness is trying to live your life. It's perfectly natural and normal to have these feelings from time to time, but don't give in to them! There is a whole new world out there to be enjoyed and explored by you, but only you can get yourself out there.



Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on June 29, 2010

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