Freshman Survival Guide: Part V Coping With Homesickness

This sad cup of milk just exudes homesickness.

This sad cup of milk just exudes homesickness.

When you move away from home for the first time there is a very good chance that you will suffer some degree of homesickness. It is completely normal and not necessarily a bad thing! As Mrs. Hughes says on Downton Abbey, “There’s no shame in feeling homesick, it means you come from a happy home.” What can you do if you find your spirits low and are missing your own room and your own cat?

Accept That It Will Take Time

College will very likely bring some culture shock, and the only thing that will fully heal that is time. You will adjust. Be patient with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you or your new situation: it is simply, well, new.

Get Involved

Immersing yourself in your new community will help keep your mind off the things you miss from home and embrace the excitement of your college adventure. Join a club to meet people who share your interests. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting alone in your dorm feeling sorry for yourself, so get out and do something you love, whether it be an old hobby or something new!

Keep In Touch

Call, text, or Skype family and friends from back home a couple times per week. Not only will you enjoy hearing from them, but they will also be able to encourage you. However, it is also important not to dwell on those you have left behind so much that you miss the great opportunities you have before you.

Talk About it

Talking to someone on campus can help you become more comfortable in your new situation. Chat with a friend, counselor, religious leader, your RA, or anyone else whom you are comfortable talking to. Tell them about home, your family, your high school and talk about how you have been feeling and what you have been doing since you came to campus. They ought to be able to comfort you and help you decide how to best adjust.

Study Hard

Choose classes you will love, and then love them! Finding subjects you are passionate about can divert your mind from any ill feelings and give you something to talk about with new classmates and friends.


Go for a walk, find favorite spots on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. This can ease your mind and cheer you up a bit. Do something you can’t do back home: like browsing local shops or attending campus sporting events or concerts.

Remember, homesickness is only temporary, trust me. It will get better, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t find yourself even happier in college than you were ever before. Enjoy college and make yourself at home!

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