Settling In: 9 Ways to Beat Homesickness in College

10.26 Dealing with Homesickness

Are you currently struggling with a touch of homesickness as you settle into your college life? It’s a feeling that can catch even the most resilient of us off guard. But here’s the silver lining: we have some valuable tips to help you overcome homesickness and make the most of your college journey.

1. Connect with Family and Friends

One of the most common reasons for homesickness is missing the people you left behind. Make an effort to stay in touch with your loved ones. Set up regular phone calls or video chats to catch up on each other’s lives. Remember, they’re just a call or text away, and maintaining those connections can provide you with a comforting sense of continuity.

2. Embrace Your New Environment

It’s essential to give your new surroundings a chance. Try to explore your college town or city. Visit local landmarks, parks, and cafes. The more you get to know your new home, the less you’ll long for the familiar places you left behind. Plus, exploring can be a fun and rewarding experience in itself.

3. Join Clubs and Activities

Getting involved in campus clubs, organizations, or activities is a great way to meet new people who share your interests. Building a sense of community on campus can make you feel like you’re part of something bigger and, in turn, help reduce homesickness. So, consider joining clubs, sports teams, or other student groups that pique your interest.

4. Create a Comforting Space

Set up your dorm or living space to reflect your personality and bring a piece of home with you. Decorate it with items that hold sentimental value, like family photos or mementos. Having a comfortable and familiar space to retreat to can provide a sense of security.

5. Establish a Routine

Maintaining a routine can offer a sense of stability and structure in your life. Set a regular schedule for studying, eating, and sleeping. Having a well-defined daily routine can help create a comforting sense of predictability, which can help combat homesickness.

6. Make New Friends

One of the best ways to beat homesickness is by forming new connections. Strike up conversations with your classmates, dorm mates, and people you meet in your various activities. College is a place where you can find like-minded individuals who could become lifelong friends. Most of your fellow students are also experiencing the same feelings of homesickness, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

7. Seek Support on Campus

Marshalltown Community College and Ellsworth Community College both have resources to help students adjust to campus life. Seek out counseling services or support groups if you’re struggling with homesickness. Talking to a professional or other students who are experiencing similar emotions can be incredibly beneficial.

8. Focus on Self-Care

Homesickness can take an emotional and physical toll on you. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. When you prioritize self-care, you’re better equipped to manage the emotional challenges that come with being far from home.

9. Set Realistic Expectations

Homesickness is a common feeling, and it’s important to acknowledge that it’s normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself for missing home or feeling out of place. Instead, set realistic expectations and give yourself time to adjust. Remember, it’s a transition, and things will get better.

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: “How long does homesickness last?” The answer varies from person to person. For some, it may only last a few weeks, while for others, it could linger throughout the first semester. The key is to be patient with yourself and give it time. Homesickness is a temporary feeling.

In the meantime, keep your chin up, make the most of your college experience at MCC or ECC, and remember that homesickness is just a small bump on the road to an exciting future. You’ve got this!