As the new school year begins, many of us may be having mixed emotions. It was exciting to move out on your own, decorate your apartments, and meet your roommates, but many of us may begin really missing home. This is a common feeling that we all experience at some point when we are living away from home. Some of us are more affected by it than others, but it is the nature of who we are as human beings. Familiar surroundings, people, and routines often provide us with a sense of security and comfort. We are are in a new place, we may find ourselves missing the comforts of home and the ones we love. You many feel lonely, sad, anxious, have a stomach ache, headache, or other physical symptoms. You may also become truly depressed or overwhelmed. If you are having any of these feelings, here are some tips to help you cope:
Tip 1: Get Involved
Joining a club or organization can take up free time and keep your mind occupied. This will not only look good on your resume, but will also help keep you busy. When you are busy, you have less time to miss home. You can also attend activities offered on-campus or at Vulcan Village which are great ways to meet new people. If you are unaware of what activities and clubs offered then ask your Community Assistant, attend the organizational fair, or stop in the Office of Student Activities.
Tip 2: Plan Ahead
Make plans to visit home. Even if you live far away, just knowing you can look forward to visiting home can help.
Tip 3: Get a Job
When you have free time in our schedule, you often sit around and think about home which makes you miss it even more. You can fill that extra time by getting a work study on campus. If you are unable to get a work study you could look for a part-time job near campus. Getting a job is a great way to make extra money and it keeps your schedule full.
Tip 4: Talk to Someone
Many times when you are struggling with something, you feel it is better to hold it inside than to talk about it. When you are feeling homesick it is important that you tell someone how you are feeling. You can talk to a friend, parent, community assistant, or even a counselor on-campus.
Tip 5: Write it Down
Write in a journal…Sometimes putting your feelings down on paper can help you understand them and feel better.
Tip 6: Something Enjoyable
Do something you enjoy. When you are having fun, you are less likely to spend time thinking about people and things you miss.
Tip 7: Invite
Invite a friend, parent, or sibling to visit. Spend a weekend showing your friend or family member around campus. If a friend is at a different college or university, make plans to visit their institution.
Tip 8: Stay In Touch
Take advantage of the many ways to stay in touch. Call family or friends, send email and text messages, write letters, or send funny cards.
Allow yourself to feel homesick. You may not want to admit that you miss home because you may perceive your feelings as immature. If you feel homesick, give yourself a break and understand that your feelings are normal. If you feel overwhelmed or like nothing is helping you overcome your homesickness, there are always staff available to help. Feel free to get in touch with your Community Assistant, stop down and speak with one of the staff members in the Leasing Office, or talk to one of the counselors on-campus.
So what are some ways that you use or have used to help cope with homesickness? What way was most effective for you? How about least effective and why?
(The first 10 people to comment will be entered into a drawing for a “Homesickness Help” basket full of goodies.)
by: Alyshia Brehm, Community Assistant Building 8