Okay, you may find the idea that you would suffer from any type of homesickness doubtful, but you might be surprised at how common it is. Students who tend to suffer from it the most are ones who move out of state to go to school where they don’t know anyone else.
This doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be yearning for your parents. Homesickness can include anything from missing your bedroom, your dog, your high school, friends you left behind and yes, sometimes even your folks. I of course suffered from severe homesickness freshman year (as if I wasn’t dealing with enough already between barely passing that statistics class and coping with psychotic roommates). It was like the umbilical cord had been cut for the second time. And yet, I survived – here’s how:
- Call home. This is a perfectly natural thing to do. If you think it makes you seem lame and uncool just blame it on your mother when you talk to your roommates. Explain how worried she is and that if you don’t check in at least once a day, she’ll call 911.
- Skype. Whether you want to chat with friends or family, Skype is free and you can buy a camera for around forty bucks if your laptop doesn’t have one. Logitech webcams are compatible with multiple online chat services and work well.
- Get out. Whether with your roommates or with other people, you’re going to need to force yourself to get involved with things happening on campus. If you live in a large dorm, it’s pretty typical for a lot of people on the floor to eat and hang out together. However, if you can’t stand your floor mates you’re going to need to do a little research. Check out your school site and see if it has an undergraduate activities section. The office of resident life on campus is also a great resource. And do things that interest you! Don’t pledge a fraternity if it’s the last thing you ever wanted to do in college.
- Exercise. And I don’t mean go to the gym 7 days a week if that’s not your thing. However, getting out for a walk, lifting some weights, going for a run or even joining a flag football team will help not only with any sadness you’re feeling but also with general stress and anxiety (and yes, every college student suffers from stress and anxiety). I don’t know all the technicalities (I have a degree in English not medicine) but it all has something to do with stimulating endorphins and blah, blah, blah. Essentially, sweating makes you happy. If you want it in more technical terms, check out what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it.
- Keep a journal/blog/roll of toilet paper with your thoughts on it. Alright, I can already hear the boys scrolling over this bit. But writing about what’s going on does actually help a lot. Even if it’s just a few sentences about how your day went. Jotting down your thoughts helps to straighten them out in your head, making them easier to cope with. And actually whatever you write on/about will then be a record of your college life that you can look back on when you’re old and grey.