Prevention tactics for a freshman’s most common illness: Homesickness


While you might be prepared for common colds, there’s a whole new type of ailment to prepare for that is equally as common: homesickness.

If your personality is anything like mine, you resist change. Fiercely. Short haircut? No thanks. Furniture re-arrange? Not feeling it. New drink at Starbucks? I think I’ll stick with the usual.

The transition to college can be tough. After all, change is scary. You have to acclimate to a new environment, a new roommate, new classes, even a new bed to sleep in. 

  • Here’s what I wish someone had told me before move-in day: As hard as it is, resist going home for the first couple of months of the semester — try to stick it out until Thanksgiving break. If you end up going home every chance you get, you’re just interrupting any sort of routine you’ve started and you’ll miss opportunities to hang out with friends. Instead, try to see what the campus is like on days when classes aren’t in session.
  • Don’t worry about how your parents will handle your move. It is not your responsibility to keep track of how your parents are reacting to your absence. Sure, they will miss you, but don’t make yourself feel guilty for leaving them. They had a life before you, and they can adjust to a life without you for a while.
  • n Embrace change. Some people actually believe that change is a good thing? I know, shocking. While it’s perfectly fine to keep your hair a certain length or keep ordering your favorite drink at Starbucks, there’s no use resisting a change that you can’t control. Moving out of the house to attend college is one of those changes. The sooner you embrace it, the sooner it will become your normal routine.  
  • Use this as an opportunity to prepare for the future. You’re not always going to be able to hop on the Suburban Express and be home in two hours. Use your first year at the University to learn the ropes of living on your own (and yes, that includes vacuuming your dorm room and changing your sheets). Forming these habits early will come in handy later.
  • Explore. Welcome week (and beyond) is the perfect time to see all that Chambana has to offer. Catch a movie on the Quad. Learn the bus system and venture off campus. Go find Alma, the Morrow plots, the observatory. The more you explore, the more this scary, unfamiliar environment will start to feel like home. 

Emma is a senior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected].