The shock of upending your life and moving across country, or across the world for some students, to attend college or university can cause your first big dose of homesickness. Suddenly leaving everything and everyone you know behind, especially if it’s your first time living away from home, can make new university students anxious and depressed. Often, students get trapped in a downward emotional spiral, worsening their homesickness by doing things that only make it worse. Homesickness is most often temporary, and once you settle into the routine of your new life, it ends up disappearing or becoming much less intense. If you are suffering from homesickness and would like some relief, below are 5 tips to help tackle it.
Don’t Stay in Your Room
One of the
worst things you can do
if you are feeling homesick is to stay locked up in your room. Many new university students often try and cope with their homesickness by spending an unhealthy amount of time talking to friends and family, using it as a coping mechanism that can end up making matters worse. The best way to get over your homesickness fast is to explore the campus. Instead of sitting on your bed, take your reading or writing to the campus coffee shop, or even an off campus coffee shop. Simply being around other people who are probably experiencing the same thing can make a world of difference.
Allow Time for Sadness
This may seem counterproductive, but if you allot yourself time where you are allowed to be emotional and sad about how homesickness is affecting you, you can deal with these normal emotions in a more healthy way. If you have no class on Friday, instead of spending the whole day wallowing in your room, allow yourself a couple of hours to be by yourself and then get active and get your mind off it.
While it is unlikely that your university town, residence, apartment etc. will ever be able to compare to, or take the place of where you grew up, it doesn’t hurt to try and recreate the life that you left, to the best of your abilities. Did you have a hobby that you pursued with your friends back home? Look for similar clubs, or social groups to join on campus. Did you have a large, vibrant social circle that made you feel appreciated and comforted? Make an effort to be friendly with and meet new people on a daily basis. Do you crave community involvement? Why not try volunteering some of your time if you have some to spare in between classes? A lot of research has confirmed that volunteering your time does a lot to boost feelings of mental well-being.
Pick up a Part Time Job
If you can afford it, a great way to help take your mind off homesickness, as well as make some money and feel like you are being productive, is to pick up a part time job, whether on, or off campus. If you can spare the time throughout the week, or on the weekends, a part time job is often a good way to make you feel productive, which is good for your mental well-being, as well as a great way to broaden your social circle.
Tell Yourself You’re not Alone
It’s easy to feel like you are the only person in the world going through something and that no one could possibly understand your pain, but the truth is, what you are experiencing is completely normal and very common. You would be surprised at the number of university students who are feeling and thinking the exact same things as you. If you need to talk to someone and don’t feel comfortable discussing it with your peers, counselling centres on campus are full of caring, empathetic, experienced people who can help talk you through your emotions. They are adept at providing important perspectives on what you are going through.
Don’t give up! Homesickness can be crippling for some people, even prompting some students to give up. Homesickness is rarely permanent, and with the right approach, fairly easily dealt with. Starting a new chapter in your life, away from friends, family and familiarity is no walk in the park. If you find that homesickness is getting in the way of your homework, and need a hand, get in touch with Homework Help USA and let us help you settle into your new life by
taking care of some of that coursework for you
Lucier, K.L. (2011). “5 Ways for College Students to Survive Being Homesick.” U.S. News. Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-college-experience/2011/09/28/5-ways-for-college-students-to-survive-being-homesick