Christi Riley is a Junior working towards her BS in Psychology at The University of Scranton. She is also studying minors in Counseling and Human Services as well as Writing. Christi is a current intern on an online counseling/therapy website.
Leaving home to go away for college is a big step in life. Leaving behind the well-known comforts of home to be immersed in nothing but the unknown can add to the initial stress of college studies. As a Freshman, new to being away, or an upperclassmen missing loved ones left at home for the semester, managing home-sickness can be difficult. Thankfully, missing home can be easily controlled by:
1) Bring Comforts Home to Your Dorm
Living in a dorm is a whole lot different than living in a comfortable home. They are often very tiny and the walls are blank and boring. Customize your dorm as well as bringing familiar items from home. Fill your walls with pictures of fond memories with family and friends and bring items that are important to you to create a homey feel to your dorm. It’s hard to be missing home, when you make your dorm feel like a home away from home!
2) Get on a Schedule to Call Home
Days at college quickly become jam-packed with studying, extra-curricular activities, followed by more studying. Many times, calling home to check up on loved ones is forgotten. However, calling home to see how things are going and hearing loved one’s voices can be incredibly helpful in preventing and managing the feeling of home-sickness. Get in the habit of putting aside about thirty minutes, three times per week to call and check up with your parents, family or friends. They will love to hear from you, and it will lesson the struggle of being away if you are able to connect to home through a phone call. An occasional face-time or Skype call can even satisfy a sometimes-needed visual taste of home.
3) Getting Involved
This tip is a particularly important one. Stay busy by getting involved around campus. Doing so doesn’t only look good on your resume for graduate school and employment, but it also keeps you occupied and having fun so that you have no time to miss home. Do anything you enjoy to keep yourself busy, join a sport, a club or volunteer; whatever sounds fun will be helpful!
4) Create a College Family
Living at school is much like living at home in that you will often become very close to the people you live with. Between loved roommates and awesome friends made over time, it is very likely you will establish a group of people almost as close and dear to you as family. These people will become college family. Of course these people will not replace family at home, but will act as an addition. Having close people around campus will bring the home comfort of family, to college. Two families are better than one!
5) Create a Countdown
Creating a countdown until the next time you will be home and seeing how fast that span of time goes by while away at college will remind you that you will be home in the blink of an eye! Because college students are so busy, semesters fly by. Seeing how fast time will go until seeing family and spending time at home will both lessen home-sickness and assist in looking forward to a break from college stresses.
6) Take a Trip to the Counseling Center
It may sound silly, but talking to someone about your home-sickness can help manage it big-time. If the feeling of wanting to go home or missing home doesn’t subside, the counseling center is there to help get students through similar stresses. At most colleges, a free counseling center is available. Considering the cost of tuition, you might as well take advantage of a free emotional pick-me-up.