No matter how independent you are, it is normal to feel homesick in college. What is homesickness exactly? According to Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, homesickness is not missing your home but the familiarity and comfort of home. The feeling is totally normal and common in people who have to adjust to a new normal. Here are some tips for getting over your homesickness.
Find activities that you think you would enjoy. If you can find a student organization you fit in with, you are sure to meet a group of friends that you can be comfortable with.
Don’t Believe What You See on Social Media
“Oh, Karen has been going out every night? She must not feel homesick then!” Don’t believe what you see on peoples’ Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram. No one is going to post a picture of themselves missing home.
Talk to an Adult/Professor/TA/ect.
My first week of college, I quickly met a professor I knew I could trust. I’ve kept in contact with her for the past three years. She has written lots of recommendations for me and has always been available to talk! Find a professor, instructor, TA, coach or any adult on campus that you feel you can trust. Talk to them about how homesick you have been feeling. They will understand what you are going through because they were undergrads once too! Most people you meet on campus will be happy to support students beyond just the world of academia.
Find a New Comfort Zone
Maybe in high school you had a favorite coffee shop you loved to hang out at. Try to find that kind of spot on campus. This should be a place that makes you feel comfortable and where you can see yourself hanging out over the next few years.
Call Your Friends and Family
Don’t come home too soon but don’t be afraid to call your parents or siblings at home. Or, call your friends who are also away at college. All of these people will miss you too and can sympathize with what you’re going through.
Everyone feels homesick at some point in their lives. Don’t worry though, it might take a bit of time to adjust to a new college lifestyle.
If your feelings of homesickness last a prolonged amount of time and it is interfering with your ability to go to class or do your homework, try to check in with your school’s counseling center.
Come back to the Future Blog for more articles on college and career success!