Many first-year students experience homesickness in their first semester. Some miss their parents, their friends, their high school, and even their pets. It’s normal; in fact, many students will probably experience this at least a few times a year throughout their college careers. It can be a struggle to adjust to being away from the place you’ve always known, especially when surrounded by people you don’t know.
Now, especially during midterms week, students are likely to feel stressed. Stress negatively impacts the body both physically and emotionally – putting students more at risk for feelings of sadness and homesickness.
Who doesn’t wish their mom was here to make all their problems disappear?
Well, she’s not here, but there are a few things you can do to help ward off feelings of homesickness.
Stay in contact. Keeping in touch with family and friends from back home is a great way to alleviate homesickness. You can be reassured that the bonds are still there and that everyone is OK. Communication and venting are always good sources of relief.
Don’t stay in contact too much. This isn’t as contradictory as it may seem. Yes, talking with friends and family is important, but when you make a habit out of it, it can become destructive. You may start to isolate yourself in your room on Skype and avoid social interaction on campus. Calling home too much could actually cause you to be more homesick.
Meet new people. Yes, socialization is daunting these days. But meeting new people will help you get over, so to speak, your loved ones back home. You aren’t replacing anyone, just adding new friends to fill the gap until you go home again.
Stay busy. Join clubs, get ahead on homework, have long study sessions in the library, get a job. Keeping yourself busy on campus will not only make the days fly by, but will also help you stay invested in your school. Your mind will be here, not home.
Stay healthy. Eat right, get plenty of exercise, and try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to maintain your health. A weathered and sick student will be more likely to long for their parents and comfy bed back home than a healthy student.
The most important thing to remember above all is you are not alone. SU is a big school – there is bound to be someone else with whom you can connect. Developing new communications will decrease your risk for homesickness and allow you to enjoy yourself while still staying focused in class.
By Caleigh Gran