Living on campus away from home can be extremely hard with so many changes taking place for first-year college students. Everyone gets homesick—sometimes it will last just a few weeks, sometimes it will go beyond that. Since the first semester of my freshman year, I’ve come across multiple ways to deal with homesickness that can turn your college into your home away from home!
1. Stay on campus
This is both the hardest and most rewarding way to get over homesickness. If you live in the region, it will be tempting to go home every weekend for the first few months. But by doing this, you are not allowing yourself to adjust and explore your new surroundings! While on campus, get to know your school and the people around you. Meeting other students on your floor and in your hall will expand your social groups, and you will lean less toward the FOMO from your high school friends and create your own college memories. By getting to know your campus, you can start to map out a daily or weekly routine, which will help you adapt to your new lifestyle. This routine may include planning a gym or meal schedule or finding personal down time in between classes. The only way your new school and campus will feel like home is by putting effort into acquainting yourself with new people, resources, and opportunities around you.
2. Join a club…or two!
Almost all colleges suggest and promote students getting involved on campus as early as their freshman year. This doesn’t mean you have to run for class president, but I highly recommend joining a couple clubs that interest you. By joining groups on campus, you can carry out the same interests and extracurriculars that you had in high school. By partaking in clubs that are familiar to you, college won’t feel as unfamiliar, and you will be able to carry the same skills but in a new environment. Another positive of joining a club is that you will find a group of friends outside your dorm that enjoy the same activities as you. Doing so gives you a chance to connect with upperclassmen and people of different backgrounds. Not only are clubs a way to get involved on campus, but they’ll also keep your mind off missing high school.
3. Make your dorm room feel like home
Being able to design your own door room is super exciting, and it can be tempting to splurge on all new décor. However, it is not always necessary. If you have doubles of bedroom items at home, I recommend bringing them to campus and setting up your room with stuff you’ve had for years. By bringing bedding, stuffed animals, and desk decor from your bedroom at home, you will create a sense of comfort within the dorm. Another decorating tip is to print and hang photos of your family and friends on your dorm room walls, which will remind you of fun memories. Both your local CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens gives you the option of same-day prints for as low as 0.29 cents! Once you have a balance of new and old dorm decor, setting up your room will be less stressful and your bedroom will become your new homey sanctuary.
By keeping busy and slowly adjusting to your new college lifestyle, the homesickness will fade and college will feel just like home—I promise. And if you have other tips for first-year students, feel free to share them in the comments!