There is no doubt about it, you are living in exciting times! Starting college, leaving home, moving to a new city, being independent.
But come Sunday night, or any night for that matter, you find yourself missing home, your family, your room, your friends…
Relax! Nothing is wrong with you… Being away from home and adjusting to college life are stressful changes. But we do have some coping tips for you…
WORK ON MAKING THE UNFAMILIAR, FAMILIAR
A big part of being homesick has to do with being uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. The only way to deal with this is to work on making the unfamiliar, more familiar. Get to know your campus, the surrounding area, and the neighbourhood you live in. The more you start to make and feel that your campus, your home, your neighbourhood belongs to you, the more comfortable you are going to start feeling.
Be with people. You probably don’t know many people yet, or those that you have met you aren’t particularly close to, but the point is to have people around and not isolating yourself.
Some things you may want to try include: eating meals or watching tv with others, catching a taxi to or from college together, walking to the shops together.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE ALONE
Whether or not you have friends to spend time with, it’s also important to have some alone time, during which you can pursue or start new hobbies. Some activities you may want to consider including: exercising, reading, crafts, volunteering.
The aim is to strike a balance between having alone time, spending time with friends and studying. Too much of anything is not a good thing.
Again, it’s all about balance. It’s important for you to maintain your relationships with your family and friends back home, this will help with missing them less.
Give yourself time to deal with your homesickness, but don’t let it to consume you – this is a period adjustment, that you will get through. Try to stay positive, set yourself small, realistic goals.
WHAT IF IT’S MORE THAN HOMESICKNESS?
It’s rare for homesickness to develop into something more serious, but you know yourself better than anyone else. If you are having serious difficulties with adjusting, you need to ask for help – don’t keep it to yourself.
Signs you should be aware of:
- Excessive use of alcohol or food
- Excessive tv, internet or video game use
- Inability to do what needs to be done i.e. attend lectures, attend to personal hygiene etc
- Persistent crying