If you're living away from home for the first time, you may experience homesickness. Almost every college student will miss something about home during their years away at school. Whether it's something as small as missing your mom's cooking or something bigger such as wishing you lived closer to your friends, everyone feels it. Read on for tips to help you deal with homesickness and ways to get the most out of your college experience.
Is it normal to feel homesick at college?
The first couple of weeks at college may seem great, but as the weeks continue and homework begins to pick up the thrill of being away from home can get old. It's typical to ask yourself "Am I really happy here?" It's normal to have mixed feelings about college life and yes, it's perfectly normal to miss your family, friends, and home. Learning ways to cope with these feelings will help you adjust to college.
Getting Used to Roommates
You may or may not have had to share a room with a sibling while you were living at home, but having one or more roommates at college is a very different experience. Even if you become friends with your roommate(s), there still may be times where you aren't getting along. If you've tried your best to communicate with your roommate and you're still feeling frustrated, don't hesitate to contact your Resident Director (RD) or Resident Advisor (RA) to schedule a meeting. It's important to know that college campuses offer a wide variety of resources to help you solve even the smallest problem, such as mediation, or a room transfer.
Making New Friends
It's completely normal to miss your friends from home. However, college is the perfect place to meet lots of new people. If you're wondering how to meet people, college orientation is the perfect start, because everyone is new. During orientation you'll probably be encouraged to participate in activities that will help you get to know your fellow classmates. Once you get settled, try joining a club, a team sport, volunteering, or getting involved on campus. Colleges and universities both big and small offer a wide range of activities and clubs similar to those in high school.
Adjusting to Your New Surroundings
It's important to understand that by going home frequently may make it even harder to overcome feeling homesick. Instead of making the trip home, try inviting a friend up for a visit.
Other things you can do to that will help you keep busy and curb the urge to go home:
- Fill your weekends with fun activities.
- Look forward to long weekends or vacations when you can go home for an extended amount of time.
- Remember that in the scheme of things, spending time away will make you appreciate your home town and family more than you might imagine.
Staying In Touch With Friends and Family
It's relatively easy to communicate, and your family and friends are probably only a phone call, e-mail, or text message away. Try to set aside at least one day a week to call home, or if your computer has the capability, you can even video chat.
Take advantage of the resources that your college or university offers. Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed that you're missing home, because you're not the only one. The feeling of missing home will pass with time, and don't be surprised if you find out that you actually miss college when you're home on school breaks.
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