TCE: How To Deal With Homesickness Freshman Year
When you think about college life, what often comes to mind is the long lectures, the parties, the late night study sessions, roommates, the list goes on. But one thing they don’t tell you about college is that sooner or later, you’re going start missing home. If you’re like me, and you traveled out of state for school then you’re going to feel it. But no need to panic because it’s totally normal and isn’t as hard as you think to push through.
For my first year of college, I lived on Residence. My school is about five hours away from home, and I wasn’t about traveling home every weekend like some of the other girls at my dorm (let's be real, that’s expensive!).
For the first few weeks, being on Residence was really cool and an entirely new experience. Being on your own in a new environment with new people. It feels a lot like camp. You start to get a routine going and everything feels right in the world.
But by the time midterms roll around, the newfound stress starts to take a toll. You’ll find yourself becoming exhausted in more ways than one, and philosophize that your professor’s one, don’t understand that you have more than class; and two, quite frankly, they don’t care.
All of a sudden your cot bed is going to feel a lot harder than you remember. The cafeteria food will start tasting bland and you’re going to miss a nice home cooked meal. The little things about your roommates that annoy you are going to start to seem major and everything they do will tick you off. Take a deep breath, it doesn’t mean you hate them. Spend enough time with a stranger who you’ve been assigned to live with for 8 months and you’re bound to be annoyed by something.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the entire experience but it’s important to keep your goals in mind. You’re not going to want to do your homework or the 30+ pages of readings (well, you don’t really have to do all your readings. I can honestly say that I’ve probably done about 50% of all my readings throughout my entire post-secondary career).
One of the things that really helped me was to find a stress reliever. Something that you always did when you were at home. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you should just stop every hobby that you loved to do. For me, this was music. I had my guitar with me, and just about every morning I got up at 6 AM, went to a quiet room and played until my heart was content. Some of my best work came out of it.
I started making more time to talk to my friends from home. Whether it be phone calls, or iMessage whatever the case may be, stay connected with them. It will make you feel like you’re still a part of their lives and you’re not out in Suburbia all by your lonesome.
When you’re feeling homesick, it is important to surround yourself with things that will make your new environment feel more like home. Remember that what you’re feeling is completely normal and it will pass. If you can, try writing down reminders of your goals on sticky notes and place them around your room.
By reminding yourself why you’re at school in the first place it will give you the boost that you need to make it until you go home for Christmas.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is a true story.