Homesickness… that miserable feeling of longing for something or someone familiar, that seemingly physical pain that erupts whenever you think of home, that nagging thought that perhaps you made a terrible mistake in leaving the comforts of your old life. Sound familiar? It may, because it’s a common experience of students who have left home for the first time.
What can you do to deal with those feelings so that you can focus on the task before you – being a successful student?
- Surround yourself with familiar images and objects from home: a favorite comforter, your high school yearbook, pictures of family and friends…
- Spend some time with new friends sharing stories of home. Talk about home with anyone who will listen. More people than you may realize will be interested in stories of your life and home.
- Get connected! Being active in your new environment not only distracts you from your feelings of homesickness, it helps to create positive reasons for being where you are.
- Try to avoid random and impulsive (and expensive!) trips or phone calls home, but set up a regular schedule for contact; for example, you call home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and they call you Tuesday, Thursday, and on the Weekend. Work it out.
- Give it time. You were home all your life, so expect some difficulty with adjusting to being away. But know that this too shall pass. Soon, this will feel like home as well and you’ll have plenty of reasons to stay.
If you continue to have difficulty and find it hard to function though time has passed, it may be helpful to talk with a trained professional who can help you feel better.