Dealing with the homesick blues

Gina Hernandez

Photo credit: Paul Kingsley, Photo Editor

Leaving home to go to school, regardless of how far away it is, can leave one feeling homesick.
When the time comes to finally leave the nest and spread your wings, you will definitely go through a roller coaster of emotions, from anxiety and excitement to nervousness and sadness. Making a smooth transition into a new home is very important in helping to manage and to ease those homesick feelings.
Homesickness is a natural feeling that almost everyone goes through, no matter what age they are.
Some ways to cope with this feeling are:

Surround yourself with friends
If you are lonely all the time, it causes you to be sad and think about family. Don’t isolate yourself from people. Instead, hang out with your friends and share a special meal. Even better, invite them over for a home-cooked meal. Cooking a meal that your family would make brings you that “at home” feeling. Sharing that with a friend or roommate is a way to bond, and both of you can talk about your families. Making dinner together and inviting friends over makes your current living place feel at home, especially when you are eating a home-cooked meal instead of fast food. Doing this every other weekend or so can become a tradition for you and your friends. It will eventually feel as if you were at a family reunion.

Meet new people
This is your chance to go out there and mingle. Meet new people, make new memories and go through new and exciting adventures. You are only in college once, so make the best of it. Meeting new people and making new friends can not only help to network, but also helps you learn more about yourself. Expand yourself and don’t just stick to one clique. Talk to everyone. You never know: Meeting one person can change your life.

Get involved
Joining a club, a sorority or a fraternity is another great way to make friends. Joining a club or an organization helps you learn more about your new school and allows you to become involved. It also gives you the opportunity to make new friends who can last a lifetime.

Decorate your home away from home
Having items in your dorm can remind you of home. This can help your dorm feel like a home, rather than a generic dorm. Hanging up photos and lighting candles that remind you of that scent at home can also bring back sweet memories. Anything that reminds you of home is good to have. That way, you won’t feel as if you are at a stranger’s place. Make your dorm your new home and decorate it with your own personal creativity. This is your new home, so create memories in it.

Visit home sparingly
Taking a trip home once in a while can cure your homesickness, but going back home every weekend is not the answer. By going home every weekend, you won’t be able to overcome your homesickness and have that college experience of living on your own. If you go home every chance you get, you won’t have the time to go to school events, hang out with your friends and learn more about your new surroundings. So before jumping on the plane or in your car, make plans near campus.

Make a phone call
When you get homesick, remember that your family is just a phone call away. Calling them for a quick hello can help you overcome those feelings as well.

Why not make your own little family here at school, or even with others who live in campus housing? Little by little, that homesick feeling will go away. If you surround yourself with friends and the people who know you, you won’t feel so lonely. It will help you forget you aren’t at home because you will finally realize you have established a new life.