Most people have felt homesick at some point in their lives whether it’s when they’ve gone to camp or visited relatives for an extended period of time. Homesickness is a normal experience for many new college students even though they may not talk about it
Leaving home and beginning a new life is exciting! However, it can also be anxiety-provoking to move, live with new people, and adjust to your academic workload. Students who experience homesickness might notice an increase in sadness, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, or minor physical ailments.
Students who have been away from home before may be surprised to find themselves feeling homesick. Leaving familiar things, people, and places and adapting to a new college environment can be difficult but there are coping strategies that can help:
- Give yourself time. Be patient and let yourself get acquainted with campus and your new dorm, classes, and classmates.
- Allow yourself to feel sad and homesick; it's okay to miss the things you love. It is also okay to make new friends and enjoy college—you are not being disloyal to those you miss.
- Remember that other people are feeling the same way even if they don’t express it.
- Stay in contact with people from home. Set up a time to visit and encourage family and friends to visit you. But avoid being away too often—give yourself time to get involved on campus. Going home every weekend may prevent you from making new friends and actually may make your homesickness last longer.
- Talk to someone. You can make an appointment at the Counseling Center or talk to a professor, friend from home, parent or sibling, or anyone that you can open up to about your feelings.
- Establish a balance between work and play.
- Join a club or organization on campus.
- Remember to eat well and get enough sleep.
- Make sure this is the college for you. Feelings of homesickness typically fade and people really enjoy their time here. However, some students decide to transfer to another college that is a better fit for them while others follow different paths. If you’re considering your options, talk to someone who can help like your academic advisor, RA, or a therapist at the Counseling Center.
- If you feel unable to get through your day or to participate in the demands of college life, seek professional help from Health Services or the Counseling Center.
If you’re feeling homesick and want to talk, you can make an appointment at the Counseling Center by going to their office on the first floor of Jonsson Tower or calling 518-580-5555.