How to combat homesickness when moving in  

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Interim Editor-in-Chief

After the final boxes are unpacked, the parents have left and the excitement of moving in begins to fade, a new, vexing feeling might settle in: feeling homesick. With some students transitioning back to campus after spending over a year at home with their parents due to the pandemic, homesickness might make you feel like you’re a freshman moving in for the first time all over again. Whether you really are a freshman or moving in as a senior, being homesick is a perfectly normal response. Keep reading for some ways you can shake the feeling. 

Bring comfort items to campus 

Make your dorm or apartment room your home away from home. Bringing sentimental items that remind you of home such as pictures or decor you had back home can help make your new room feel less foreign. Whether it be that blanket you’ve had for ages or a candle that smells like home, packing a piece of home with you can help provide some much needed comfort.

Keep in touch (sparingly) with your parents and friends back home 

In the age of technology, staying connected with your friends and family is easier than ever. However, be careful not to overdo it —sometimes, reaching out too much can do more harm than good. Give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings and try your best not to use FaceTime as a crutch. In some cases, increased contact with your family when you’re homesick can make you miss them even more.

Expand your social network on campus 

Meeting new people and making new friends on campus is a great step in building a new life on campus. Whether it be from meeting someone in your classes, joining an RSO or chatting up a conversation with a stranger on the Main Quad, there are tons of ways to meet people who you can pass the time with. If you’re moving into a dorm room, remember that everyone is in the same boat as you and looking to make new friends. 

Start new traditions 

Starting new traditions with friends on campus helps keep your mind busy and give you events to look forward to. Whether it be a late night Merry Ann’s trip or going to the Illini Union for bowling, structuring consistent events in your weekly schedule can help make campus feel more familiar. 

With the pandemic having changed so many aspects of our lives, transitioning back to college life or starting it for the first time may feel more daunting than it would have in the past. Feeling homesick is a normal reaction, but remember to not let it consume you. Keep yourself busy with friends and activities, and before you know it, the University will begin to feel like home. 

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