One of the most common experiences of first year, as well as transfer, students is homesickness. This is generally something which they have not considered and do not know exactly how to handle. Most young adults are so excited about leaving home and starting out on their own it never occurs to them that they might miss home.
This is nothing to be ashamed of; however, many students find it difficult to talk about it. Some people miss the familiar surroundings and routines, while others miss the actual individuals who had always been around. Of course there are those who simply miss it all. Homesickness is a very natural feeling and it only indicates the person came from a healthy and loving home.
It is Only Natural
It is perfectly natural to miss family, friends, pets, and even the old bedroom. Many college students experience the onset of homesickness upon waking the first morning away from home because they are now in a strange new world. It is important to understand that this is a natural process that should be allowed to happen and not ignored or suppressed. It may help to realize that at the very same moment there are many students in dorms, all over campus, all over the globe experiencing the very same thing.
Take a day or two to allow these feelings to cycle through. In most cases they will disappear to be replaced by new and exciting experiences such as meeting new friends and learning new topics. Pretty soon it is likely that schedules will be so full there simply will not be time to be down or too homesick.
The Natural Cycle
This may take a short period to get over; however, it should pass relatively quickly. It may also crop up again from time to time and that is normal as well. If these feelings do not pass in a day or two and/or become more intense, try calling and talking with a family member or friend from back home for few minutes.
It might also be a good idea to speak with a campus counselor if depression sets in. These individuals have been trained to deal with depression and can most likely help students through this process rather quickly. Never be ashamed of homesick feelings, depression, or to ask for help. This is common for all college students because becoming an adult and striking out alone is a major life altering event.
Steps to Take
There are several things which can be done to help homesick feelings to pass quicker. One is to walk around and explore the new campus. One of the most common elements most students miss is familiarity. Take the time to become familiar with the new digs and stomping grounds. Find the quickest path to class and the library as well as the scenic route to the local shopping center. Ensure these routes are well-lit and populated with numerous other students just to be on the safe side.
There are a couple simple and sure methods to help combat homesickness. Ask mom to pack a small box with stuff from the old house and/or room. Use these items to decorate the new dorm room. Be sure to ask for a photo as well. Perhaps sleeping with a stuffed animal or grandma’s quilt from home will help ease the anxiety.
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