How to deal with the feeling of being homesick while in college

Editorial by Terrell Wooten

Homesickness is nothing new. Those who suffer from the condition feel some form of anxiety, sadness, nervousness, and most distinctly, obsessive preoccupation with thoughts of home.

If you’re a first-year student, you’ve probably made more major changes in your life than you ever have before. If you’re a transfer, you may be used to being in school, but not your current school.

Let’s consider what you’ve done: you have started at an entirely new school, a college probably, where you might not know anyone at all. You might be in a new city, state or even country. You have a new lifestyle to manage, where every hour of your day is unlike how you spent your time even four or six weeks ago. You have new responsibilities that are pretty heavy: from managing finances to learning a new academic system and culture. You may also be living on your own for the first time and learning all kinds of things that you hadn’t even thought to ask about before you left.

Here’s what you can do to lift your mood while you adjust to college life.

Realize homesickness is a normal feeling.

Allow time to get used to your new home environment.

Talk about your feelings with friends, family, a resident assistant or counselor.

Post pictures and things from home in your room.

Make plans to visit home, keeping in mind that you will be returning to school.

Get involved in campus activities

Don’t ignore your feelings or try to drown them by drinking alcohol, taking drugs or participating in any type of risky behavior.

Learn what helps you relax – it might be deep breathing exercises, music or exercise.

Be realistic when it comes to your expectations about college. Remember that you must relax and play a bit in addition to studying, or you’ll burn out. Structure your time and work toward finding a healthy balance.

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