- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 14 October 2015
- Written by EMILY CIAVATTA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Everyone says that college will be the best four years of your life, which is true, but no one tells you about the hardships that come with it. College can be difficult. The workload is harder, you are forced to be more independent, and you’re away from home for the first time.
When your older siblings, parents, and friends all tell you about how much you’ll love college, they all skip out on telling you that being away from home is a huge adjustment. But fortunately for us college students, homesickness, like many other sicknesses, is temporary.
Initially, it is very tough to let go of your hometown, your childhood friends, your parents and everything you once knew. But eventually you will accept the fact that you are beginning a new, exciting chapter in your life.
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean your friends, family, and hometown are disappearing forever, it just means that there is a bit of distance between you and them now. But that distance will soon become second nature to you.
Caitlin Smoler, a sophomore health students student, said, “At first it’s really scary being in such a new environment but once you get used to it, the experience of freedom is amazing.” Smoler got through her homesickness by embracing the independence that college allows you to have. In college, you get to start over.
You get to make new friends and be the person you have always wanted to be but might have previously been afraid to be.
You get to stay up however late you want and eat ice cream at any hour of the day, and quirky perks like those make college that much more enjoyable and that homesick feeling will slowly start to go away.
Meg Ferguson, a sophomore business administration student, said, “Because I was so far away from home, the first week and a half of school was really hard and all I wanted to do was sit in my room, but once I started going out and meeting people, I started to really like being away at school.” A hugely important tip to know when you are feeling homesick is to absolutely not just sit in your room alone and sulk.
Doing that will only make you feel even more sad and homesick. When you feel homesick, hang out with new friends, go out, explore the area, etc. If you fill your time with things like that, like Ferguson did, you will be distracted from that awful homesick feeling.
Rich Felicetti, a sophomore psychology major said, “Homesickness is definitely a normal feeling for a first-year student, transitioning from home-life to dorm-life is a tremendous change, so it’s important to understand that these feelings will naturally occur.”
Specialist professor of communication, Robert Scott said, “There were times in college where I got homesick and I would just go home. I would call home a lot, too. If you live close enough, go home for the weekend.”
An easy way to stop feeling homesick is to simply visit home. However, it’s important to not do it too often.
A very important tip for when you feel homesick is to try your best to go as long as you can without going home for the weekend. That way, you will break through that initial homesickness that is really hard to deal with. Once you do, you will still miss home sometimes of course, and at times like those it’s always a nice idea to visit home for a few days.
“My dad used to drop me off in September and say ‘See you Thanksgiving’,” Scott said, “The best medicine for me was being adopted by my friends.”
If you do not live close to home and are not able to go home and visit on the weekends, hanging out with your friends at school is always a great idea to feel less homesick. If your friends live in the area and they go home sometimes, tag along with them for a night for a fun getaway (with home-cooked meals). College friends will become the best friends you’ll ever make, so treat them as if they family if you ever miss home too much.
Homesickness can be a real setback, but it does get better with time, good company, the experience of freedom, along with many other things. Home will always be a special place, so it’s normal to miss it. But soon college will feel like home to you, and you’ll realize that pushing through that homesick feeling will totally be worth it.
IMAGE TAKEN from thehuffingtonpost.com