September 8th, 2008 Jamie
Fighting off homesickness is often one of the biggest challenges of moving away from home-especially your first year of college-which is why I’ve written a couple of articles about how to deal with it already (see the first one here and the second one here). So if you’re feeling a little out of your element, or just missing your summer crush, here are a few ideas to help you out of the slump:
Meeting new people in college can make a huge difference in your comfort level-a friendly face in the caf or having someone to talk to in class really takes the edge off a bad day. Wondering how to go about forming these connections? Check out my past post about how to meet people in college.
Moving away from home doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties with your family & friends. It seems like every day there are new ways to keep in touch. You’re undoubtedly IMing and emailing already, and I’ve suggested phone calls, a group blog, and text/pix messaging before, but why stop there?
Keep your friends updated (and keep up on their news) in real time with Twitter, connect with groups & old friends on Facebook, and if you just need to see a friendly face, try using Skype to make free video calls from your computer.
3. Make Yourself at Home
Feeling out of place in your new environment usually makes homesickness worse, so try to make your dorm room “home” ASAP. Make your side of the room your own with familiar photos, bedding, and knick-knacks, and try to learn your way around campus so it feels natural for you to be there. (Check out my post about dorm décor on the cheap for inspiration!)
It’s perfectly normal to feel some apprehension or loneliness when you find yourself in such a brand-new situation, but that doesn’t mean you’re itching to spill your sorrows to your roommate. If you’re too shy or uncomfortable to talk about missing home, don’t bottle it up! Get your feelings out on paper (or computer screen) by keeping an informal journal. You don’t even have to keep what you’ve written-sometimes writing just helps you get it out of your system.
5. Plan a Party
Having trouble meeting people or getting enough interaction with your peers? Plan a party! (Not only will it help you meet people, the planning process will keep your mind occupied during quiet hours). It can be anything from the traditional definition to a casual movie night or a screening of the season premiere of your favorite show. Your campus should have space available for you to reserve, or you can talk to your RA about using a common area in the dorms (they could probably help you publicize it, too).
Make sure the word gets out via email, posters around campus, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (and if you can, get people to bring food)!
Entry Filed under: homesickness