I’m homesick! Now what?
Homesickness is very common among students who live away from home, especially during their freshman year. Feeling homesick is natural and doesn't mean you are not ready to be on your own. If you feel homesick, talk to your friends at school about it. They are probably feeling the same way. If your homesickness does not get better after a few weeks of school, make an appointment with a counselor in the health services/center.
How can I develop a healthy social life at college?
Definitely keep in touch with friends and family from home, but make sure you develop new friendships at school. You'll probably meet friends at orientation, in the first few days of school, in your classes, at social events, in the cafeteria, in clubs or sports, and through other friends. Don't worry if it takes a while to find friends—it will happen. Your roommate(s) may become a good friend(s), or you may not click with her/them. You should talk to your roommate(s) as soon as possible about issues such as cleaning, bedtimes, music, and visitors/guests (boyfriends/girlfriends, etc.) so that you avoid problems later on. If you're having problems getting along with your roommate(s), talk to your RA (resident advisor).
What if I'm under a lot of stress?
Chances are you'll probably feel stressed at some point while you're at college. College is a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work. You may be on your own for the first time in your life, and/or dealing with issues without your family and friends from home. This can be tough. If you're stressed, you may feel really tired, have a headache, have trouble sleeping, have trouble concentrating, and/or feel nervous, among many other symptoms.
Is there anything that I can do to deal with the stress?
Yes. Some ways to deal with stress are to consume less caffeine, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. Also, make sure that you do something you enjoy every day. The key is to balance classes and schoolwork with friends and having fun. Try to have a positive outlook, and don't forget to have a sense of humor!
What do I do if I'm feeling down?
There are days that you will feel down, especially when the demands of college get to you. These feelings are normal and will go away. At these times, you should take a break from the pressures of college and do something you enjoy. Spend time with friends, exercise, read a good book, play ball, listen to music, watch a movie, call a friend, talk to your family, or anything else that makes you feel good. If it doesn't go away in 2 weeks or keeps coming back, you should talk to a counselor in the health services/center. They see lots of students who are anxious, stressed or depressed at college.
What if it's more serious than feeling down—am I'm depressed?
Sometimes, feeling down can get more serious and you can become depressed. However, depression can be treated. If you've had thoughts of suicide, of harming others, or if you have had any of the following symptoms for 2 weeks or more, see a counselor at your student health center right away:
- Sad mood
- Not enjoying things that you normally enjoy
- Sleeping problems (you sleep too much or too little)
- Being really tired, not able to concentrate, having very little energy
- Eating problems (you eat too much or too little)
- Feeling that you are worthless and there's no hope
- Physical problems (headaches, stomach aches, or body aches) that don't get better even after you try to treat them
Don't try to deal with depression on your own - see a counselor. Also, if you have any friends that you think may be depressed, suggest that they see a counselor as soon as possible.