Leaving home to attend college is both an exciting and challenging event. For many students part of the challenge of college is dealing with feelings of homesickness. Here are some ideas that may help you deal with the transition from home to college.
Top 12 Ways To Cope With Homesickness
- Admit it
- Get involved
- Keep familiar things
- Have realistic expectations
- Be open
- Keep in touch
- Plan a visit home
- Take care of yourself
- Talk about it
- Give it time
Admit and accept that you are homesick. Try not to bury the feeling. Don’t drink more, party more, or have sex just to make the feelings go away. Allow yourself to feel sad, to have a good cry.
Walk around. Get to know the Brockport campus and the surrounding community. When you discover some fun places and activities, you may feel more comfortable and in control of your situation.
Consider the things you like to do and explore what student activities and organizations are available to you. Your residence hall is often a good place to start. Attend campus events. Getting involved will immerse you in college life, help you make new friends, and reduce your time to be homesick. It might feel difficult, but many other students will be doing the same thing.
Soften the shock of your new environment by having items from home in your residence hall. Familiar things such as pictures and favorite possessions can help you feel more comfortable while you adjust.
Try not to expect yourself to be perfectly adjusted, organized, popular, or dressed. Recognize that you’re learning, and have a sense of humor about your challenges and mistakes.
The more open you are to NEW things, the less you might miss PAST things. Be open to exploring new situations, opportunities, people, classes, and choices. Try to avoid comparing your new environment to home ~ they’re different. It might be scary to face so many new things, but they will provide opportunities to meet new friends.
Getting involved with others and making friends is a key way to reduce homesickness. Inviting roommates, classmates, and neighbors to explore with you can initiate new connections, as can responding to the invitations of others.
Stay in contact with friends and family. Share your new experiences with them, as well as the fact that you miss them and your home life. Decide whether it’s best for you to have more frequent contact with home (because it helps you feel better) or less contact (because it makes you feel worse).
Knowing that you’ll be going home at a specific time may be comforting and allow you to invest in campus life. While going home can be relaxing and help ease the transition, doing so too often may result in constant readjustment and feeling worse.
Get enough food, sleep, and exercise. These are important for both physical and emotional well-being. Do things that you enjoy. Try to establish a routine as soon as possible. Create a balance between work and leisure.
It can help to talk about feelings of homesickness with a roommate, friend, RA, RD, family member, or counselor. You’ll find that you’re surrounded by a lot of support. You may also discover that others have similar feelings. It’s a sign of strength to accept and talk about what is troubling you.
Overcoming homesickness is a gradual process for most people. Realize that adapting to a new situation is difficult and takes time. Let yourself ease into it, and college will eventually feel like your home away from home. However, if your homesickness persists and interferes with your academic performance, relationships, or general functioning and well-being, consider making an appointment to talk with a counselor at the Counseling Center (585-395-2207/Hazen Hall
*This information was adaption from material included on the University of North Carolina at Ashville web site.