There is one word that can either fill you with joy or strike you down with fear: college. For many, this means partying and other related social activities. For others, it’s the opportunity to study, learn and further their education. No matter which side you are on, one thing remains the same: college means braving the world and moving out.
Now for some, this could be the best thing of your life, but for others, not so much. I personally am somewhere in between. However, I do know people who either couldn’t wait to leave home and some who would have rather stayed in the comfort of home. My freshman year has been great so far, sometimes I do feel that homesickness creeping in. With a few weeks of campus life under my belt, I have a few tips to help deal with homesickness during your transition into college.
1. Video Chat
Since things like Skype, Facetime, and other video messaging apps have emerged, staying connected with people is easier than ever. Plan and schedule reoccurring video chat dates with your family members and friends. For example, you could plan to call each other at say, 7 p.m. every other Friday. Being really close to my mom, and her being my main sound board, organizing these chat dates has been a life saver. You don’t have to keep it to basic conversations either – mix it up with a family game night via video and it will fill like you’re right back at home.
2. Have a Good Heart to Heart
Nothing beats a nice, long convo straight from the heart. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone, just to talk. Talk about what you are excited for, nervous for, talk about your expectations, or heck, even gossip. Being able to have meaningful conversations with the people you want to stay in contact with can help get anything off your shoulders that may be weighing you down. Just be sure to keep your phone on vibrate – nothing like an obnoxious ringtone blaring in the middle of a history lecture. Awkward.
3. Soak Up Those Long Summer Days
Those last few months before you pack up and leave the world you know behind, be sure to soak up every ounce of it you can. Don’t spend the entire summer watching Netflix (or if you must, do so with friends and family). From festivals to fairs to spending a day at the beach, enjoying as much time with the people you’re about to leave behind will provide you fresh memories to bring with you to college…and not to mention some awesome photos for your dorm room wall.
6. Get Involved
You’ll never be able to rid yourself of homesickness if you stay locked up in your dorm room, thinking about how you wish you were back home. While I know it’s much easier said than done, going out and meeting new people is a great way to get your mind off home. Join a club, grab an open seat in the cafeteria and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. There are so many ways to get involved and meet new people, as long as you are proactive, that homesick feeling will quickly subside.
5. Know You’re Not Alone
Even if it doesn’t seem like all the other Freshman are homesick, I promise you, they are. Whether they want to admit it or not, leaving home is an intimidating thing and we all have those days when we could use a big hug from mom or dad. Knowing that there are plenty of other students out there who are feeling the exact same way as you should give you comfort in knowing that it’s completely normal. Embrace this is an opportunity to connect with people who are feeling the same way and help each other shake those homesick blues.
Suffering from social awkwardness, Rachel loves to read, play video games, and binge watch Netflix. While studying photojournalism, she tries her best to make somebody's day just a little brighter.