Moving away from home for the first time is a huge deal; it’s an accomplishment and a major step towards independence. But finding yourself away from your loved ones and your comfort zone can quickly turn to homesickness.
You’ve prepared for this for years and now that the moment is here, you’re finding yourself homesick! Even the most independent people aren’t immune to it.
Here’s the thing: it’s totally normal. Think about it — you’ve picked up and moved somewhere completely new, leaving behind the comforts of home and the people you’ve grown up around. You’re trying to create a sense of home in your new dorm, but it may take a little while for it to truly feel like your own space. You’re learning to balance school and fun with little guidance. All the while, you don’t really know anyone and you’ve moved in with a complete stranger. You are literally building a whole new life.
No wonder you’re feeling homesick!
It’s completely ok to miss the routine of home, and the comfort of family and friends, but now that you’ve acknowledged those feelings, what are some ways to cope?
Reach out for support
Even though you’ve moved away, you’re not alone. Your friends and family are just a call or text away. Let them know you miss them! A lot of your friends are probably feeling the same way you are and everyone could use a little empathy!
Plus, staying connected will help you feel a whole lot less isolated.
Create a memento
Going away to college is a big moment! Celebrating what it took to get you here is a positive way to acknowledge the past and help get comfortable with moving into your new life.
We love the idea of making a quilt out of t-shirts from all of your high school and grade school years. It’s a cute and functional item that you can take with you as part of your new decor. Check out https://www.projectrepat.com/ for some inspiration.
Another special keepsake is a moon phase necklace or bracelet commemorating one of the most important dates in your journey to college. It could be your graduation date, the day you received your acceptance letter to your top choice university, or the day you moved into your dorm and stepped into an exciting new future. Pick a date that’s special to you and let us know what you choose in the comments!
A big part of why homesickness happens is because you’re out of your element. Being unfamiliar with your surroundings and the place you’re in can be really disorienting.
In order to find your bearings and a new sense of self, get involved.
Did you play a sport in high school? Find a recreational league. Do you play an instrument, sing, or dance? Join a club! Volunteer, get a part-time job, join a book club. Universities offer so many opportunities to get involved its pretty much guaranteed you’ll find the community that’s the perfect fit.
Over time, you’ll have found your new “space“ — a place for you to comfortably exist as you work towards earning that degree.
Sure, you could spend your college years going between your dorm or apartment and classes. But give yourself a chance to get to know your new surroundings. Explore and learn the place that’s now your home for the next four years!
Building familiarity with your new town will help you connect with it. There’s a sense of comfort in knowing where to go when you need something without having to Google it.
This one might be obvious but when you’re in the throes of homesickness or any major emotional event, making new friends might not be at the top of your list.
And while it’s ok to feel your feelings, you should also understand that homesickness is partially due to the distance between you and your closest friends and family. And while you can’t really bring your family and old friends with you to college, you can make new ones. Ones who are also looking for the same connection you are.
Getting out and getting involved is one way to make new friends, but don’t overlook the ones right under your nose, like your new roommate and dorm-mates. Being friends with the people you are consistently around is sure to be a positive boost in your new day-to-day life. Kinda like your family away from home.
Creating an atmosphere of your own where you feel safe, comfortable, and supported is the key to banishing homesickness. So while it’s ok to feel a little lost and homesick, proactively building up your new space and support system will soon enough have your new surroundings feeling just like home. Good luck freshman Moonbabes, sending you all the love and encouragement from the Moonglow team!