Homesickness at College

Homesickness at College

To experience homesickness while at college is quite natural, especially during the initial few months. However, it is necessary that college students learn to cope with it because prolonged periods of homesickness may cause them academic as well as health problems.
PsycholoGenie Staff
The thought of college life is quite exciting for students, as they taste independence for the first time. A lot of hard work is put in to secure admission in the college of their choice. Though college life brings a lot of dreams and expectations for the students, most of them soon start feeling homesick. The main reason for the development of such a feeling is change. It is believed that it is the natural tendency of human beings to resist change, be it positive or negative. What we do not realize is that change is a part of life, and dealing with it helps us to grow and mature. In the same way, homesickness is a temporary phenomenon which goes away once students start adjusting to their new environment.
Causes
When students enter college, they leave behind the comfort of their home and parents. In a place where everything is new, right from their surroundings to their batchmates, it is natural to feel lonely and isolated.
  • They miss the support they received back at home from their family and friends.
  • The anxiety of academic performance can also add to the feeling of homesickness in college students, which is also known as separation anxiety, where they find it difficult to share their feelings with an understanding person.
  • Moreover, as many students have to work to fund their living as well as college fees, there will be additional stress. They have to find a job immediately, and this can add to their feeling of homesickness.

How to Deal With It

Though homesickness is not a very serious issue, if not handled at the proper time, it can lead to dangerous circumstances. Students who do not learn to deal with it, may sink into depression, and sometimes, may lean towards alcohol and drugs. Hence, they ought to understand that rather than constantly thinking of their hometown, it is better to see it as a challenge and try to overcome it. Though it is not a difficult task, the time that will take each individual to cope with it will vary according to their attitude and personality. Here are some useful tips that will help you in coping with it.
Accept your Feelings: The first step towards overcoming homesickness is accepting that you are experiencing that feeling. Many students think that being homesick is childish and immature. Hence, they try to cover it up by acting cool or showing that they are very busy. However, they do not realize that homesickness is not restricted to young students, but to people of all ages. Moreover, even their classmates and roommates must be going through the same emotions and feelings. Instead of trying to fake that they are totally fine after shifting to the new school, going through their emotions and thoughts about life at home for a day or two will be a better alternative.
Indulge in Activities and Make Friends: Though studies are enough to keep oneself busy at college, there have to be other things to get over the feeling of homesickness. Make new friends! Though in the beginning, you may not know with whom you can create true friendship, introducing yourself and talking to as many people as you can, will be really great. To start with, talk to your roommate, your floor mates, and later to your classmates. Take part in the various student activities that the college organizes, where you can meet new and like-minded fellow students.
Get in Touch with your Family: Keep in touch with your family. In this age of technology, this is not something very difficult. Call and email your parents, siblings, and friends regularly to know how they are doing. Tell them about your new life. Making a short visit on weekends will also be a great thing, if possible. However, make sure that you do not develop the habit of going home every weekend, as this may make it more difficult for you to get adjusted to college life.
Take Help: Although most people forget about their homesickness when they completely indulge themselves into their studies and social life at college, there are some who experience if for many months. Such cases can be severe, and need immediate help. Students who are going into depression because of homesickness should visit the college counselor to talk about their grievances and feelings. Counselors understand the problem and will surely be able to help them.
I hope these tips are useful for all new college students experiencing separation anxiety. Understand that it is just a phase which will soon pass away, and enjoy your college life thoroughly, as it is said to be the best time in a person's life.
Chatting on the way to class