How do I stop being homesick at college?

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Answered by: Elizabeth, An Expert in the Life On Campus Category
For many people, going away to college is their first experience moving out of their parents home. While this can be a fun and liberating experience, for some, it can mean a few weeks being homesick at college. While there is no shame in missing your hometown, remember that there are a lot of things you can do to make yourself feel more at home in your new environment.



1. Be Friendly. This might sound obvious, but I can think of plenty of people in my college doom who would go out of their way to avoid new people. Remember, you're going to be living with this group for the next 9 months, so it pays to make some friends! An added bonus is if you make friends with people who have already been at the college for a year or two, they probably will have the inside scoop on some of the classes you will be taking and can give you a hand later on in the semester or quarter.

2. Call your Parents. (They will love you for it.) Or, if you prefer, an aunt or uncle, whoever makes you feel better. Call your High School buddies and chat about your new digs. (Odds are they're as homesick as you anyway.) If none of the above are available, try talking to some of the new students in your dorm. You might be surprised how many freshmen are homesick at college and never think to talk to someone. It is okay to miss your home.



3. Get Involved. Nothing beats the blues like having a lot to do. Getting involved in your college's activities is a great way to meet new people, find things you're interested in and make your college feel more like home. There are usually a ton of activities designed to do exactly this at the beginning of the semester or quarter on both the campus and at the dorms. Find one that looks good to you and jump in!

4. Go home. I realize that this is not practical for all students, but if it is not cost-prohibitive, take a drive home and see the folks. They not only will probably be pretty glad to see you, but you can get your laundry done for free. =) So, enjoy the moment! Hang out at your favorite spots, eat at your favorite restaurants and relax.

5. Finally, Talk to a Professional. If you feel like you haven’t been yourself since you came to college and are worried about your mental health, you should talk to a professional. Most colleges offer free or low-cost mental health services that I encourage you to take advantage of. It is important to remember – There is no shame in seeking professional help. You don’t have to handle all your problems alone.

Being homesick at college is not a fun thing. However, with a little help from your new friends and your family, you will soon get though it and on to bigger and better things. College is an important time in your life, not just for the academics, but for the social and networking opportunities. Four years from now, you will have made so many new friends and have matured so much you won’t recognize yourself. So get out there and start building your future!

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