College homesickness: it happens to everyone. With new surroundings, new roommates, and new college courses, it’s inevitable to get nostalgic for the things you left at home.
You might be homesick for your family and high school friends — maybe you miss your room or your pet. But embracing the new while remembering the old is an important, if tricky, thing to master.
If you’re experiencing college homesickness, try these 5 tips to get into your new life in college:
1. Get involved.
One of the best and easiest ways to cure the college homesickness blues is to get up and be active in your new community. Student organizations are one of the easiest ways to do just that — they focus your mind on a fun activity, while giving you a chance to meet new people at the same time.
Student groups can range from extracurricular activity clubs to ethnic houses, and from Greek organizations to intramural sports teams. These groups are always looking for new members, so don’t let college homesickness get you down. Check out your school’s club fair or activities website to find out about the next meeting!
2. Close your computer.
With so many ways to keep in touch — from email to texting to Facebook to the old-fashioned phone call — it’s easy to stay attached to your friends from home 24/7. But surprisingly, these reminders from home can often increase your college homesickness.
Especially when you’re missing home, it’s tempting to keep in constant contact with friends from high school to fill your time and keep college homesickness away. But you may be missing out on opportunities to make new friends right under your nose.
Try to limit your phone and IM time to an hour or so every day. You’ll say goodbye to college homesickness and find a lot of free time to experience life at your new school.
3. Get a home-cooked meal.
College homesickness isn’t always about missing your own home. You may miss your favorite home-cooked dish or just the feeling of family. Luckily, you’ll probably find that many of your friends in college will want to share their families with you!
If one of your friends lives close to campus, spend a weekend with his or her family. Eating a meal outside of the cafeteria and being in a family environment will help stave off college homesickness. You’ll feel like you’re at home again — and get closer to a new friend.
4. Organize a party for your floor.
College homesickness is often a result of new living arrangements — lots of new people in the college dorms with little space besides a hallway to congregate.
Solve this typical college homesickness problem by throwing a get-together for your hallway neighbors. Invite everyone to get ice cream, go to the movies, or just get dinner all together in a dining hall. Helping people get to know each other outside the cramped dorm hallway will give you plenty of friends to call when college homesickness hits.
5. Talk to your freshman adviser.
If you’re still feeling homesick, consider talking to your freshman counselor or residence adviser. These upperclassmen have been through it all before, and they’re always around to help you through any situation, including college homesickness.
Since these advisers are fellow students, they can give great advice and might understand your feelings more than a professor or even a parent.
College homesickness might be hard to handle, but there’s a reason that many people point to college as being the best years of their lives. Explore your school to see how you can make your campus a home-away-from-home!