College Advice Blog

Apr 12, 2012

5 Ways to Combat Homesickness

When you go on an extended trip, you may suffer from a small amount of homesickness; but for the most part just knowing that you'll soon be back in your own bed and surrounded by the familiar faces and places you've known all your life is enough to get you through. Plus, time flies when you're having fun, and most of us are when we're on vacation. But college is another story. While it's certainly an adventure to leave home (and the authority of parents) behind as you move on to a new chapter in your life, the novelty can soon wear off, leaving you wondering how you'll ever get by alone in the foreign landscape of higher education. But don't despair! There are ways to combat the homesickness that nearly every student feels. Here are a few pointers to help you see it through.

Bring the comforts of home. Sometimes all you need are little reminders of your life before to help you when you're feeling lonely. Many students stock up on brand new everything before they head off to the ivory tower, but make sure you bring a few items that you've had all your life. Whether it's your favorite comforter, your lumpy pillow, a trusty teddy bear, or a bottle of your mom's perfume to surreptitiously spritz around the room, a few small tokens of everyday life at home could help you to feel better and get on with your day. Over time you'll find that you need them less and less.

Get on Pinterest. Since space is at a premium in crowded dorm rooms you probably don't want to waste precious inches on myriad photos of the fam and friends. Instead, create a Pinterest account. This social media pinboard may be popular for those planning weddings or redecorating a room but you can use it to create a variety of boards to house pics of your family, friends, hometown, and anything that will help you to feel like you've never left. Best of all, they will all be safely stored in cyber space instead of taking up room on your physical desktop.

Arrange visits in advance. If you know when you're going home for a visit it will give you something to look forward to. So rather than hemming and hawing about a trip over the holidays just make it happen by purchasing a ticket early. In addition to putting a bright spot on your horizon this early planning will save you some money.

Find a place where everybody knows your name. Possibly the worst thing about moving to a new place is that you don't know anyone. But one of the best things about college is that you have the opportunity to make a ton of new friends. So take a few and start scouting nearby establishments to find a "regular" spot to hang out. Then get chummy with the wait staff, managers, and even owners so that when you walk in the door everyone smiles and greets you like an old friend. It will do wonders for your morale and give you the sense of belonging that you've been missing.

Skype. With the "click here"mentality that dominates our society we tend to go for the instant gratification of texting or tweeting rather than taking the time to schedule calls. Resist this urge! When you're missing the comforts of home nothing will brighten you up like seeing a familiar face. So plan ahead by setting up Skype on your home computer for the parents and then schedule call times when you can tell your mom and dad about college life and see the reactions on their faces.

About The Author 
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer in the areas of education and personal finance. He is also a part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

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