Homesick: an adjective, describing a longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it. In college it’s pretty easy to get homesick, especially if you opted to study a little farther from home. But it’s okay, because there are some simple ways to ease that feeling. They may not be a miracle cure, but these seven tips are at least a start.
1. Call your family
This is seriously the most important and is #1 for a reason. Family absolutely loves when you call, and is there anything better than hearing the voices of your loved ones? It’s a good way to keep people updated on your life on a more personal level than Facebook allows.
2. Call your best friend(s)
This one is similar to calling your fam, but best friends are there by choice. It’s just as important to keep up with old friends as it is to make new friends. Besides, as humans, we need communication.
3. Have something that reminds you of home
This tip is often followed without the intention of easing homesickness. When college students move into dorms or student apartments, decorating often includes posters and other things that just represent your interests. However, bringing an old photo album, some cards from loved ones, or a family recipe can be really comforting when you need a little piece of home.
4. Make your room comfortable
This one corresponds with #3—but cool decorations don’t necessarily mean that you’re comfy in your space. So do your best to fix this, like investing in a memory foam pad or a cozy down comforter for your bed. If your room doesn’t make you feel good at the end of a long day at work or after a killer exam, then it will be even more difficult to kick homesickness.
5. Join a club
Seriously, you can’t expect to go to class and go back to your dorm every day and be fine if you’re homesick. The best way to distract yourself and find friends in college is to talk to people in your classes and your major, and also by joining a club or two. Last semester I didn’t join any clubs and only met a few cool people. My homesickness was also really bad. This semester I improved both situations just by joining one club that really called to what I enjoy outside of class.
6. Make arrangements to go home
Sometimes incentives are needed. Maybe you can’t go home for spring break, but you could make a plan to fly back for Thanksgiving now while prices are low. Maybe you have to complete an internship this summer—try finding one back home, which will give you a chance to get your fill of family. Explore your options here!
7. Remember why you are there in the first place
This especially helps those who are really far from home. Personally, I’m almost 1,000 miles away from my mom and sister, and it bugs me sometimes. But when I remind myself of all the cool things I get to do at my school that other schools don’t offer, and how proud my family is of me, it makes it a little easier to be so far away.
There are dozens of ways to ease homesickness. Everyone’s college experience is different, and many people often transfer as a result of missing home. However, if you can help it, homesickness shouldn’t interfere with the many good things you can experience wherever you are.