OPINION: A College Girl’s Guide to Homesickness

Illustration+by+Wren+Johnson+%2F+The+Sunflower

Illustration by Wren Johnson / The Sunflower

College is a new place for students. They’re away from their homes, their parents and everything they have ever known. It’s a freedom that they have never experienced before.

With that freedom comes new feelings. Among those is the anxiety that comes with being in a new place. Everyone feels at least a little homesick in the first few weeks. Some of us might not admit it to ourselves, but it’s there.

It’s not something to be ashamed of. Everyone else is going through it too. Homesickness is normal, and you shouldn’t try to ignore it. Instead, find ways to deal with it so you no longer feel that way.

You may feel embarrassed about it, but there is no reason to be. Talk to other people about it. Talking to your roommates or new friends can be very helpful. Chances are they are also feeling the loss of their home.

Staying in touch with your family is also important. Cutting them out won’t make missing them easier. That being said, you can’t run to them every time something happens. Call them every once in a while, and plan trips home.

Give yourself the time you need to adjust to your new surroundings. For most students, everything they are doing and everywhere they are going is new. Take your time to learn what helps — that doesn’t mean locking yourself in your room.

Getting involved on campus can be a way to ease your mind. Keeping busy gives you something else to worry about besides the thought of home. Focus on your classes, and partake in activities around campus — that includes getting to know your new surroundings.

Look for jobs you might enjoy. A job is something else you can do to keep yourself busy, and who doesn’t like making money?

Make your new space somewhere you want to live. Decorating your room can help you feel a sense of normality. So hang the posters that your parents didn’t like, and surround yourself with the things that make you happy.

Even though you are feeling down, remember to take care of yourself. Eat at least three meals a day and don’t forget to drink water. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Homesickness isn’t actually a sickness, but when you don’t take care of yourself you will find that getting sick will happen.

Do nice things for yourself. Every once in a while it’s okay to do something you enjoy, or buy something you have been wanting. You’re in charge of yourself now, and if nobody else is making you happy, remember you can do that yourself.

This feeling won’t stay with you forever. Once you get used to your new surroundings you’ll feel better. Take your time and do what works for you. You are the main character in this new story.

If you are struggling with homesickness and need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out. CAPS (Counseling and Prevention Services) is available to help with any mental health issues you may be facing. Contact them at 316-978-4792 to make an appointment. They’re here to help.