Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Overcoming Homesickness in College

First of all, know that it is totally normal to be feeling this way.  I think almost everyone goes through a period of being homesick at some point in their life. For most of us, the first time we encounter this awful feeling is during college. College is the first time that you spend a significant amount of time away from the place you grew up in. It can be a challenge to break out of your comfort zone, meet new people, discover who you are, establish your own routines, and succeed while being away from the support system you've had for so long. It's important to know that your support system is still there, but you need to reach out to them to let them know that you need them. I think it's more common to be homesick in the spring semester rather than the fall semester. In the fall, everything is new and exciting. However, in the spring it's not so new and exciting. Plus the colder weather keeps you trapped inside rather than being out and about having fun. Today I'm sharing some tips to overcoming this homesickness. By no means am I a professional, so these tips are just things that have helped me and people I know.  If your homesickness is more serious, then I recommend seeking professional help because it could be something more serious.

Understand this is a normal feeling
Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is a normal feeling to have. It's important to know that you are not alone in feeling this way. Most of us experience homesickness at some point in college. The degree varies from person to person, but I'm willing to bet more people share these feelings than you'd think. Learning to acknowledge and accept your homesickness is helpful in dealing with it.

Get used to new surroundings
The more comfortable you get with your new campus and the surrounding area, the better off you will be.  Take some time to walk around campus, find some places you like to eat, discover a great study spot, and figure out things you like to do there.

Create your own space- a home away from home
Make your room a place you feel safe and relaxed in. This is your home away from home, so it actually needs to feel like it.  I recommend decorating it and adding items that make it feel happy to you. For me, I liked to have pictures and quotes hanging up. Additionally, having a clean and organized space was helpful.

Stay connected- but not too connected

Yes, it is important to stay in touch with your family and friends from back home. However, there should be a balance in the amount of communication. It's going to take some trial and error to find this balance, but I can assure you it is important to discover it. No, I'm not saying you should never call home, but doing it multiple times everyday isn't the best either. Talking with friends and family 24/7 while at college will prevent you from living in the moment.  It won't allow you to truly enjoy college.  Additionally, too much communication might make you feel like you're missing out on experiences at home- thus making your homesickness worse.  Instead, I would find a regular time to chat with family and friends. Maybe every Wednesday you and your BFF FaceTime, several times a week you chat with your parents, and every morning you text someone else.  Regardless, you need to find balance in order to stay in touch with friends and family without losing out on your college experience.

Talk to other people on campus
Sharing with your friends how you feel might help you deal with overcoming this.  They will be able to support you and force you out of your comfort zone a little bit.  If you don't tell them, then they might wonder why you are being so distant. You also could consider talking to your advisor or the campus counselor.

Make time for sadness but not too much time
It's okay to be sad sometimes, but it's definitely not okay to allow yourself to be in a constant state of sadness. Letting your feelings out every once in awhile is good because it prevents you from bottling everything up inside. Sometimes you might actually feel better after letting it all out. Being sad all the time will prevent you from being happy as well as create a pessimistic outlook on college.

Get involved
Getting involved on campus and the community will definitely help make things better. Take some time to look at the clubs your campus has to offer. Attend a few meetings to see if these clubs are a good fit for you.  This will help you meet more people and become busier. When you are busier, you have less time to dwell on missing home.

Stay positive
Last but not least, try to stay positive. This won't alway be easy, but it will help you get through things much easier.  Sometimes in life we have to fake it until we make it.  If you are able to convince yourself that you are happy, then it might just work.

Best of luck!


  1. I didn't experience home sickness in college but had lots of friends that did. I definitely think establishing strong relationships at school while maintaining contact with friends and family at home can help. I hope you are able to get through your home sickness and come out stronger and happier on the other side(:

  2. Gosh, one day you'll be homesick for college lol. Getting involved was def the answer for me back in the day though. Best of luck :)

  3. Agreed!!!

  4. Great advice! When I was working on my master's abroad for a year, it was really tough. Regular Skype sessions and having friends at school really helped me get through it!


  5. I'm so glad I didn't have to go through in Uni but I definitely understand being homesick when a job takes you far away from family!

  6. I didn't experienced much homesickness in college but I'm definitely worried about experiencing it when I move soon for my new job!! These tips can totally be applied postgrad ;-)

    xoxo A

  7. This is great advice! I never expected to feel as homesick as I did the first year or so of college!

  8. Def wish I read something like this while I was a freshman! I wanted to move so far away from home when I first applied to colleges but 4 hours was plenty!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  9. These are such great tips and advice! Right now I go to college 30 minutes away from home so I still stay at home. I'm thinking about transferring abroad soon though, so this will come in handy. Thank you for the post!

    xo Jiawun

  10. I love these tips! Once every year I would always get homesick but being involved on campus was sooo helpful for me.

    xoxo, Hannah

  11. This is such good advice! I got so homesick when I studied abroad and not emailing/texting/calling people too often to focus on being in the moment helped a lot!