How to Deal with Homesickness at College
For many students, leaving for college is a huge first step into the real world and a great way to gain some independence. It gives students the ability to gain new experiences and make new friends. However, when some students reach college, they begin to feel depressed without really knowing why. They may be doing well at school and getting along with other people, but still feel out of place. This phenomenon is known as homesickness.
What is Homesickness?
According to Krystine Batcho from Psychology Today, homesickness is the attachment to a place that we consider home. It is considered a form of depression and is maladaptive to our everyday lives. In college, the reluctance to leave home has caused problems with focusing in classes and interacting with other students and teachers. Many freshmen already feel overwhelmed from being in a different area with new people, and homesickness only adds to the feelings of unease and anxiety.
What are Some Ways of Dealing with Homesickness?
One of the best ways of dealing with homesickness in college is to first familiarize oneself with the college and the city. Going to the different conferences and orientations that the college offers before the start of the year is important, because it allows students to interact with each other and form bonds. When the student officially starts their school year, they will be more comfortable to know a few people beforehand.
Another good way to deal with homesickness is to group days into sets of three. It helps students to think that if they can survive one set of three days, then they can survive the next. It is harder to think of days in sets of seven since it’s longer and more overwhelming. Slowly, students will become less attached to home and feel happier in college.
It may seem cliche, but exercising and eating healthy helps to improve the mood. Exercising gives students something to do and keeps their mind off of thinking about home. Taking a walk with friends or visiting the gym can also help students form friendships with others so that they will feel less lonely and out of place. Eating healthy is also important because it keeps the students active and less depressed.
And lastly, make sure to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to talk with someone if you’re feeling down. On campuses, there are many counselors and support groups that are willing to listen and help those who are feeling depressed and homesick. Talking it out can help make someone feel better since it allows them to get all their uneasiness off their chest.
Homesickness may be a big problem in colleges, but there are many ways to overcome it. If a student is feeling homesick, they can follow some of the advice above to feel better.