Getting through the homesick doldrums

August 23, 2012

From freshmen to seniors, everyone gets that occasional pang of homesickness. After the excitement and rush of new classes and friends wears off, you may start to feel fatigued and sad. So when the homesick blues settle in, what's the best way to deal with them? Consider a few of these tips for college students dealing with the day-to-day exhaustion of school and missing the simple life of summer at home.

1. Call an old friend. There's a distinct difference between being homesick and nostalgic, but it's an easy line to cross. Instead of feeling sad about your distance from home, why not give an old high school friend a call and turn that disappointment into recollections of happy memories? Tell stories, share old jokes and make plans to catch up at the soonest convenience. You'll be surprised how much better you feel afterwards, even if you still miss home.

2. Get off campus. Sometimes the need to go home is really just a need to go anywhere. If you're feeling confined to campus, take some time away. This could be anything as simple as a walk or catching a movie in town. If you feel like you need a longer excursion, see if any friends are up for a weekend road trip.

3. Have a sibling visit. If you have a brother or sister who doesn't live far, why not invite them to visit you at school? This is especially great for younger siblings who may be starting the college application process themselves. They'll get a glimpse of college life while you get to show off some school pride. While your sibling can help cure your homesickness, you'll also get to view your current home in a new light.

4. Make your dorm feel more home-like. Most students bring things from home to lend an air of the familiar to their dorm rooms. Sometimes it's a stuffed animal or favorite quilt, other times it's an armchair or favorite book of poems. But you can take steps to make your dorm feel more home-like beyond just mimicking your family's house. Why not use dorm kitchens to make a meal for you and a few friends? Or consider having people over for a movie night. Help forge your new home's own identity.

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