Moving out of mom and dad’s house to start college is usually a very exciting time. College students, though still young, are no longer children. They do not necessarily have to follow the exact same rules that applied to them as kids. They will experience new things and learn many new ideas. Most all students will go through a roller coaster ride of emotions. The majority of the time they will feel like exhilarated young adults. There will also be times when students are home sick, depressed, and lonely. After all, moving away to college is a momentous occasion. There are several ways to cope with these feelings.
Almost a Tradition
It is very important to understand that experiencing anxiety and sadness are completely normal for college students. Just about every single student will go through some degree of this. They must recognize and accept these natural emotions. A little time is generally all it requires to get passed this. It can be very helpful to ask parents about their college experiences and how they felt when they moved away from home. Remember that parents and other family members are only a phone call away and most of them would be delighted to hear from their college students. They would probably also be happy to send something that is a reminder of home to the college.
Routine as Comfort
As mentioned, most all college students will experience at least a little homesickness. One reason for this is that it is human nature to become comfortable with the familiar and uncomfortable with the unknown. Establishing a set routine can effectively lessen anxiety and fear. Taking walks around campus and, perhaps, the local area to become familiarized can effectively speed the adjustment process.
Social group activities are another way to alleviate fear and home sickness. Joining campus programs allows students to meet and get to know their peers. Programs are generally set on a schedule and, for a period of time, it involves the same people who most likely share opinions, preferences, and life goals. This is another type of routine which leads to familiarization and quickens the process of adjustment. While it is essential to allow these emotions to filter through, it is also important not to dwell on them. Do not stay home and mope. Get up, get out, and try to have fun.
Again feelings of fear, loneliness, and home sickness are all normal and should be reasonably expected. It is essential that college students give themselves time to grieve so to speak. This process can take one or even a few days. Regularly calling home and/or using social media to communicate often with family and friends from back home are great ways to get past the negative emotions of moving away. It is also a good idea to periodically return home to visit loved ones and childhood friends; however, this should not be done too frequently because it can interfere with the acclamation process.
College students who simply cannot seem to shake depression and home sickness should consider talking these feelings over with a counselor. Depression that is allowed to linger and fester will generally get worse. College campuses have specific programs and professionals to assist students with severe depression. Do not be afraid or too embarrassed to seek help.
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