At this point you are about a month into the fall semester and the “honeymoon” is all but over. Maybe part of you is questioning why you even moved away from home. You are looking at your calendar and realizing you won’t be going back for a visit for another two months. This is the longest you have ever been away and a sense of sadness may be settling in. You miss your family, friends, home cooked meals, your bed, your dog, a shower where you don’t have to wear sandals and most importantly your PRIVACY! I probably left a few things out but you get the idea.
The bottom line… you are homesick.
First of all, I want to tell you that this feeling is completely normal and most first year students (and even some upperclassmen!) are feeling and thinking the exact same thing. People may not be talking about it but everyone is going through something right now. Another thing I can tell you is that this feeling will go away. It just takes time. You have to find your groove and your place in this new community you now call home. Here are a few ideas to help get you started overcoming homeskickness:
- Get Involved: Joining clubs on campus will help you meet new people who share similar interests .No one will ever be able to replace your high school friends and the special bond you share but having a support group in college is important. While it may take some time to make these new connections and it is not as easy for some people to put themselves out there, try not to get discouraged! It will happen in time.
- Maintain Contact with Family and Friends: Just because you are away from home, it does not mean you have to miss out on what is going on in your family and friends lives Talk to them about the new people you are meeting and ask them about their new friends. Remember to send a quick text message to your family when you think of them, a Snapchat to your best friend when you see something that reminds you of them or a status update on Facebook about all the new things you are doing.
- Try to Avoid Going Home Every Weekend: This can be a hard one but it is important to do. Each time you go home, you are starting all over again with adjusting to your new environment. Sticking it out is really the best way to get over homesickness. The more you can be at school making new connections, the easier the transition will be. This is not to say that you should not go home but allowing yourself some time to adjust to your new environment is important and does take time and effort.
- Talk with Others about Your Feelings: There is a good chance that others are feeling the same way and having that support can be very comforting. It is always nice having someone who understands what you are going through. Homesickness hurts but it does get better.
- Make your dorm room or apartment feel like home: Bring pictures, posters, pillows or scents that remind you of home. It is important to make your room feel like YOU and a place you can go to reenergize.
Remember, everyone moves at their own pace and it may take some time to get used to being in a new environment. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to adjust.
If you feel like you need extra help making connections on campus, please call Student Wellness at (619) 260-4618 or visit Serra Hall 300. The counselors have plenty of tools to help you through this exciting and overwhelming time! Good luck and enjoy your first semester at USD!