Help me! I'm homesick
College life is great, right? You’re finally free from the demands of your parents. Curfew? Please! You can (and will) stay out as late as you want, with whomever you want, and do whatever you damn-well want (#sorrynotsorry). You can go to class, or hit the snooze button and sleep in. “I’m an adult!” This new freedom to make your own choices is so liberating. So, why the hell are you homesick?!
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Perhaps you just unpacked your things into your new dorm and waved goodbye to the rents. It’s not like it was the first day of preschool, where you were wailing and crying, waiting for them to turn around and carry you back home. No, you probably even wanted them to go this time. You’re ready to get things started in college. But, that second they left, it hit you. You’re freaking alone. ALONE. And, after that glamorous façade of living in a dorm room wears off because you've realized your new roomie is a total slob and you’ll now be sharing a bathroom with 30 other strangers (Why in the world is this still a thing? Privacy, people!) , it’s totally natural to start missing home, your old friends, and (believe it or not) your parents. Hell, you might even miss your annoying little brother. No matter how prepared you try to be, homesickness is still a very real thing for many college students. So, don’t be too hard on yourself. You can get through this and still be that independent college student you set out to be without running home to mom crying about how much you miss her (not that you’d do that or anything).
1. Know "I’m not the only one"
We’re not just quoting the latest Sam Smith song, either. Even those friends that couldn't WAIT to get out of the house eventually miss something about home. It might be the familiarity of it all (or the homemade mac n’ cheese that your mom makes) that gets to you. This is an adjustment period, and accepting that it’s kinda freaky and scary at times is the first step to moving on. Just remember that it can be freaky and scary for everyone.
2. Get out of that dorm room, already!
You really think sitting alone in your room is going to make you feel better? Wrong! Get out, smell the fresh air, walk around campus. Sometimes you just need a reminder as to why you picked this college in the first place. Plus, this is going to be your home for the next four years (or so, we’re not judging), so get to know it. You can become bff with your new roomie, but maybe you should get out once in a while to check your other options, too.
3. Put yourself out there
Like we said, although you’ll be spending a lot of time in the coming year with your new dorm buddy, that doesn't mean you can’t make friends elsewhere. Join a club. Go to a show. Just show up, really. There are so many different types of people in college, all within your age group. It’s the perfect time to find and make friends because no matter what weird thing you’re into, there’s a chance your college has someone else who's into it, too. From nerdy to artsy, athletics to lounging, you’re bound to find a friend to share your interest. But, you've got to put yourself out there.
4. Phone home
Scratch that, Facetime or Google Chat home. Show your parents some new technology so they can be cool. Seeing a familiar face could be just what you need to keep going. Your parents are there to support you, so they’ll know just the right things to say. Don’t forget that you don’t HAVE to call to check in any more, but you’ll probably want to now.
5. Started from the bottom, now we here
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This shitty feeling isn't going to last forever. Give yourself some time, and don’t let it consume you. You have so much to look forward to in college that you won’t want to stay down for too long. Remember why you’re here in the first place and know that you’re bound to do great things. The sooner you allow yourself to let go of home, the easier it will be to embrace college.
6. Make plans to visit home. (Just visit, though. You've got to come back to school.)
Having something to look forward to can help ease you out of homesickness. For most college students, the first time back home is during Thanksgiving break, which is just around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be eating some of that mom-made mac n’ cheese you've been missing so much. Plus, holidays are going to be so much more exciting now. Remember how awesome Christmas was when you believed in Santa? Guess what, you’re Santa now. Everyone looks forward to the moment you show up for the holidays. That’s right; you just have to show up! Start putting some dates on the calendar to go back home for a visit, and keep in mind that you have so many awesome things you still have to do in college.
If you find yourself feeling depressed, or maybe just can’t shake the funk, it’s totally fine to talk to someone on campus. There are several different types of counselors, advisers, health professionals, and possibly even student groups to help you cope. It doesn't mean you’re crazy, and trust us, you won’t be the only one there. Who knows? Maybe you'll even make a friend.