Whether you absolutely love college so far or are still getting adjusted, there is one thing that can creep up on you at any moment: homesickness. I remember around this time last year, about a month into living on campus for the first time, it really began to sink in; this is how it’s really going to be, this is real life now. The work load starts to pile on, it begins to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day and the stress is real! My hometown is only about an hour away from where I go to college and believe me, I was just like you- I could not WAIT to get out of that little town and start a brand new life. But just like you, there are things I sometimes miss and that’s normal too. You miss your home, you miss your pets, you miss your family, you miss your friends, and you even miss things you never thought you would. Along the way during my freshman year I discovered some things that snapped me right out of those homesick blues, hopefully they can be of use to you!
Take a break from school work, go out and do something to take your mind off of it! I know here at Michigan State University, there are plenty of places to explore. I love to ride my bike around campus maybe with some headphones in listening to my favorite music. Countless times I’ve stumbled on a beautiful part of my own school that I never even knew was there.
Switch up your routine, if you usually study and do homework in your dorm, try to change it up and find somewhere nice outside or a different place on campus to do your work.
Walk around your college town! I am absolutely in love with our college town of East Lansing here at MSU; whenever I’m feeling homesick a nice walk around reminds me how lucky I am to live in a place so great. There are so many places to go shopping with friends and always a new restaurant to try if you’re getting sick of dining hall food. Look up fun things to do in your area, maybe there’s a show coming to town or a concert that you can look forward to.
If you’re feeling really down remember it’s okay to cry it out! Truly everyone has those days; take a breather, take a nap (lol college), you’ll be feeling better in no time!
Call your parents!! They will LOVE that you took time out of your day to do this, it always feels so great to catch up on things going on in each others lives or even vent a little. Keep in touch with those you miss, FaceTime is a wonderful thing 🙂 I love scheduling regular FaceTime sessions with my friends and family during the week, I know it makes me feel better to hear their voices and see their faces.
I know I’ve written about this before in my previous blogs posts, but I cannot say it enough: step our of your comfort zone, JOIN A CLUB and meet new people!! The moment I decided to do this, it changed my entire college experience. Although I was (and still am) absolutely in love with my school, there were times in the beginning when I did feel homesick. A couple weeks into my freshman year I went out searching for a club that I had interest in and one where I could meet people who had similar interests as well. After I joined Sideshow I made the friends I had always hoped I would in college. The friends that turn into family, the friends that make you a better version of yourself, and the ones who make you look forward to every single day at school. It keeps me busy participating in things I love doing, makes me excited to be staying at school and has given me the best support system at my home away from home.
I know personally when homesickness creeps in most is right before I go to bed. Usually right before I’m about to fall asleep, I start to overthink EVERYTHING in my life – funny how that works out. Something that I realized was helpful to me was to write down something positive that happened during the day, everyday. I typically go to bed late and didn’t feel like I had enough time to keep a full journal each night but I did find something equally as beneficial. Each night I would write one sentence on a sticky note – something great about my day. It was so easy and just reminded me that even if I didn’t have the best day ever, I still always could find something great. This left me thinking about my great moment of the day and helped me fall asleep faster. Then at the end of the year, you’ll get to look back, read through all 365 of your sticky notes and enjoy reminiscing on all of your favorite memories.
Lastly, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but the best thing to remember when you’re feeling homesick is that you are so lucky you have something so great to miss. Enjoy these days, they’ll be some of the best of your life. Be proud of yourself; this independent thing – yeah, you’ve got this.
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