The Best Ways to Handle Homesickness in College

Many students feel homesick after going to college.
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For most students, going away to college means being away from family and friends for more than a week or two for the first time. While going to college is an exciting event, it can also be scary and overwhelming at times. Naturally, many students become homesick, especially during the first few weeks of class. Though going back home is definitely an option, there are also a number of solutions for dealing with the problem of homesickness.

1 Make College a Second Home

One of the best ways to stop yourself from feeling homesick is to make college as similar to home as you can. Posting pictures of family and friends in your room helps keep familiar faces around. Bringing decorations or posters from your room at home can also help you feel more comfortable in your new environment. Also, try to have your daily activities while at college mimic the activities you did at home. If you had many friends, make a point of introducing yourself to a certain number of people per day or week. If you used to volunteer in your community, find a local organization that you can work with.

2 Stay Busy

Homesickness can seem unbearable when you are just sitting around thinking about how much you miss your family and friends. Staying busy is one of the best things you can do to distract yourself. Joining a club or student group on campus will give you things to do and think about besides schoolwork and your family and friends. If you miss your school's activities fair at the beginning of the semester, don't worry. Many people join new clubs throughout the year, and most clubs are happy to have new members at any time.

3 Stay in Communication

Talking to your family and friends regularly can help you feel less homesick. Instead of assuming that it will happen at some point, schedule specific times throughout the month to have phone or Skype conversations with the people you miss. This way, when you are feeling especially homesick, you have a conversation to look forward to. Talking with friends and family on a regular basis allows you to maintain the close bonds you had before you left for college.

4 Find Support at College

Chances are you're not the only student at your school who is feeling homesick. Talking with classmates or people in your dorm may lead you to find that many other students are feeling the same way. Simply expressing your feelings or sharing stories from home can be helpful in dealing with homesickness. Older students, resident assistants or counselors may even have suggestions on other ways to cope with being away from home.

Based in Gainesville, Carissa Lawrence is an experienced teacher who has been writing education related articles since 2013. Lawrence holds a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Florida.