Moving away to college can bring on mixed feelings for many people. For me, as soon as I received my high school diploma I was convinced that I was ready to leave and make my way to Vermillion.
All summer I anticipated the move, making sure I had everything I needed and communicating with my soon-to-be roommate about how to decorate our dorm. I was stoked to go to college.
However, as soon as move-in day came, that anticipation turned into anxiety. All of a sudden it was hitting me that I was actually moving away from all of the normalcy at home.
I moved in a few days earlier than my roommate, so the transition wasn’t easy for me. I was alone in this tiny dorm room on a campus with new faces around every corner. It did get easier once my roommate moved in, but that feeling of homesickness didn’t completely disappear.
I’m not going to lie – the first couple weeks on campus were difficult. I missed home so much and I kept questioning whether or not I could actually make it on my own. Of course, the university does an amazing job of making sure there are plenty of activities during the first couple of weeks so you don’t have time to feel homesick. Go to those activities. Put yourself in a position to meet new people because they’ll help you get past the homesickness.
Here’s my advice: don’t let the feeling of homesickness become all-consuming. There are going to be times when you want to go home every weekend, but try not to. The weekends are a great time to meet new people and explore this new city that you’re living in. Try different restaurants around the area and find some new places to hang out.
The best thing you can do is try to push past that feeling. Instead of going home every weekend, set aside time during the week specifically for calling your family members or hometown friends so that you can get a weekly dose of home. However, if you do feel like you really need to go home, go home. Give yourself that break if you really need it, but try not to make it a habit.
Get out of the dorm and find new people that make the campus feel like another home. I was fortunate enough to have a roommate and friends that eventually made that feeling of homesickness disappear.
It’s important to join student organizations because you can meet a lot of wonderful people with similar interests.
Living in the dorms is another way to meet a lot of great people. Make friends with your floor mates because when it’s 1 a.m. during finals week and you’re crashing, they’re going to be the ones to pick you back up. They’ll also be the ones that you make spontaneous trips to Walmart or McDonald’s with when those late night cravings kick in.
Lastly, being homesick doesn’t define whether or not you can actually make it on your own in college. Being homesick is completely normal. Eventually, you’ll forget that you ever were homesick in the first place. Take a deep breath, get out of the dorm and realize that you can feel at home at college too, as long as you give it a chance.