How to deal with homesickness in college

It goes without saying that starting college is super exciting. From a new environment to new experiences, the possibilities are endless. But this huge adjustment can also be nerve-racking, and you might find yourself struggling with some homesickness along the way. Those feelings are completely normal (no matter how far into college you are!), but even when you know you aren't alone, coping with them isn't always easy. Is the homesickness hitting you especially hard rn? Read on for our go-to guide on how to deal! 

Bring some comforts from home

OK: You're in a totally unfamiliar place. The easiest way to make it feel a little more like home? Taking some pieces of your humble abode to college. Maybe you want to put up some pics of your fam and friends on your dorm room wall. Or, since you don't have your pet to cuddle up with, breaking out your fave cozy blanket (or even a stuffed animal) is the next best thing. Introducing some familiarity to your brand-new environment will help you get more comfortable right away.

Keep yourself busy

You've probably turned your dorm room into your own personal safe haven, which is key. But it's also important to carve out some other places on campus where you truly feel at home. Getting more involved will also fill your days with excitement and distract you from those negative feelings. Check out clubs and organizations on campus that fit your interests, and join one (or more!) you're extra passionate about. Your dorm might also host activities and social events for everyone to get to know each other (hello, new friends). You could even go on a mini scavenger hunt and scope out some spots on campus where you know you'll spend *tons* of time (the gym, the library, that cute coffee shop). You'll settle into the perf routine in no time, trust. 

Make time to catch up with friends and family

If you're especially missing the people you love, setting aside time in your schedule to catch up with them can make *all* the difference. New traditions like keeping up with the family group chat every day and having a weekly FaceTime date or virtual movie night with your bestie or S.O. can give you some constants to look forward to (and remind you that your loved ones are only a phone call or text away). Ofc, when your next break shows up on the school calendar, you can also plan a trip home or make a visit to your friends at other colleges. It might seem like a long time to spend apart, but you'll be reunited before you know it.

Reach out for support if you need it

Maybe you've tried literally *everything* you can, but your homesickness still isn't getting better. If this is the case, you def shouldn't be afraid to reach out to someone you trust for help and support. Whether it's a parent, friend or counselor, you'll always have someone in your corner to talk to and work through your feelings with. They might even share some advice that you hadn't thought of. After all, there's strength in numbers—so when those feelings come up, you'll have a team to help you tackle them. 

Remember that it's OK to be homesick

We need to reiterate it again: It's totally normal to be homesick. Whether you're just beginning your college journey or you're a senior gearing up for graduation, whether you're thousands of miles from home or a car ride away, everyone experiences those moments of homesickness. They usually exist on a continuum, so those phases of highs and lows are super common—and overcoming them is often an ongoing process. Validate your feelings and remind yourself that it's OK to be homesick. It just means you have so many awesome things back home to be thankful for that it's *extra* tough to spend time away. Plus, now you have another new home to make your own!

Need more college-related tips? Check out these must-read articles!
📓 7 dorm room essentials you need for fall
📓 What I learned about the transition from high school to college
📓 9 things you need to know before applying to college

How do you deal with homesickness? Tell us on Twitter @girlslifemag!

GIFs via GIPHY | Slider image @dormify via Instagram 


by Samara Smukler | 11/11/2022