Freshman year is an experience like no other. For many students, living away from home is a first – as is sharing a tiny space with someone you probably never met before, getting accustomed to buffet-style meals three times a day, and maybe even living in a city.
This is exciting and new. Entering freshman year, I couldn’t wait to be doing all things #college. When I first got to college, got involved, made friends, and was loving my classes, I couldn’t imagine ever not enjoying myself, or not wanting to be at school. It never crossed my mind that homesickness was something that I would be experiencing.
For me, being home is very comfortable. So as soon as something hit me at school that was outside of my comfort zone, I immediately just wanted to go back to that place of comfort. Missing home can be really tough for any student – especially for first-years. I mean, let’s face it, being homesick really sucks.
But in my experience and from what I understand of many of my peers’ experiences, homesickness can be very temporary, and can be overcome.
Stay in the know about your hometown
Following local newspapers on social media may not seem like it would have a huge impact, but keeping up with local news really helped me not to feel so removed or distant from my hometown.
Call your mom…
Hearing my mom’s voice always helps when I’m feeling down. Maybe calling your siblings will help you not feel so far away, or maybe even a best friend from high school who also went to school away from home.
…but maybe not every day
For me, if I spoke to my mom every day, not only would I probably go crazy, but I would likely become dependent on her during my time of need. For this reason, if I notice that I’ve been talking to my mom too much, I’ll let her know that I just need a break from talking to her all day.
Whether you like to run, journal, paint, go to movies, find new places to eat, or go to local concerts, make sure you’re doing it. Staying busy with things outside of school is important. Take time for yourself to do the things you love.
Don’t feel obligated to stay in constant contact with every friend you have from high school
Maintaining relationships of any kind can be difficult. It requires a lot of emotional energy. So balancing friends from home, friends from school, co-workers, study buddies, and the million faces you recognize around campus from Welcome Week can become draining if you don’t take time for yourself to consider how you can balance your relationships.
Decorate your room with things that remind you of home
Photos, your favorite toy from childhood, your high school yearbooks – whatever you like.
Sometimes you really do need to just take a break from AU and go home. If you live close enough and are able to get home with relative ease, this very well could just be the thing that you need.
Also, keep in mind that these are just a couple tips drawn from personal experience! Everyone deals with situations differently, and what works for me might not necessarily work for you. If you need to talk with someone about your homesickness, the Counseling Center and your RAs could be great resources to finding what works best for you in dealing with these situations.