Opinion | Embrace campus to handle homesickness
January 23, 2020
Returning to campus can bring on a mix of emotions. While it may seem like most students are overjoyed and impatient to start the second semester, there are quite a few students who become anxious and get homesick once they return to school.
For those students, especially freshmen, it can feel overwhelming and isolating. To help alleviate some of that anxiety, there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure to bring back some personal things from home: some pictures with your family, posters of your favorite artist, that new fuzzy sweater your mom just bought you for Christmas — anything that makes you feel less separated from home. Having familiar things can help make your dorm room or apartment feel more comfortable and enjoyable.
Comfort is an important theme when avoiding homesickness. Another activity that can help battle these uneasy feelings is to do something familiar or habitual. Watching a favorite childhood movie, painting, playing a video game or eating your favorite snack can all be great ways to relax and let your body associate the good feeling you have from that activity with the setting of your dorm room or apartment. It’s also just nice to lose yourself in whatever you’re doing to get a small reprieve from the unease and discomfort.
Once you’ve gotten over the initial separation anxiety, it’s important to establish a familiar routine or find a good study spot on campus. Finding somewhere on campus where you feel comfortable and relaxed is an important step to making this place feel like home — somewhere where you can belong and be a part of the student community. Having a daily or even weekly routine can begin to help you feel acquainted with the campus and a part of the student hustle and bustle.
To further your ties with campus life, making friends or study groups in your classes can increase your social activity and get you out of your room. Making new friends can also increase your excitement to return to campus in the upcoming semesters. Having a friendly face who is willing to do fun things with you can help take your mind off of missing your family and hometown comforts.
Last but not least, it’s important to remember other people feel the same way. There are plenty of students out there who miss their families and barely have any friends. They are looking for people who can relate to their own homesickness and don’t know how to find them.
Sitting alone in your dorm or apartment Skyping your family may seem like the best thing to do, and sometimes it is (in moderation), but you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and establish ties to campus. You never know who may be feeling the same way you are until you start talking to people. You are not alone.
Marykate is a sophomore in DGS.