It is hard to be away from home and everything you know. It does not matter if your home and parents are a few hours away or in another country altogether, you can still feel homesick. Homesickness is a normal feeling and it is something most college students will feel at least once while a student. In fact, up to 95% of college freshmen report feeling homesick at some point. There are several things that can trigger homesickness, besides the distance.
What Might Trigger Homesickness?
If you are feeling out of place or lonely, you may also be dealing with homesickness. You probably left behind a great support system and a bunch of friends. You may be feeling a loss of control. Not only are you away from home, you are now an adult. Everything you do is on you and you have far less supervision from your parents and your teachers. If you are an international student, you may be confused or are having issues understanding the new environment and/or culture. Which means you may also be suffering from some culture shock. There are many reasons you may be homesick or can trigger homesickness. So, how can you know if you are homesick?
The Symptoms of Homesickness
There are several symptoms of homesickness: depression, anxiety, withdrawing from social activity and on occasions acting-out. Some symptoms might be harder to notice. For instance, constantly wanting to connect with home or being critical of your new place, comparing it to home. You may also be one who instantly recognizes the longing you have for home. The important thing is to overcome your homesickness. Your college experience will not be memorable if you are upset the entire time.
There are several ways to help combat homesickness. One of the first things is to get out of your room and be around people. This is really important for international students. Being social and getting involved with campus activities can also help you get acclimated to your new environment.
Memories from Home
Another great way to help with homesickness is to have items or belongings from home. If you did not bring any, then see if your parents can send you some. These familiar items can bring comfort and help make your new place feel like home.
Scheduling time to talk or return home is also a way to help overcome homesickness. However, it is important to limit how long or how often you call or return home. If you still want to feel connected to home, send gifts back to your family. Not only will this help with homesickness, but your parents will love any college memorabilia you send.
Importance of Overcoming Homesickness
Acknowledging and dealing with homesickness is important. It is a step towards independence and it is a good thing. Just remember you need to connect with people in your university and limit the time spent visiting or talking to parents. That might seem tough, but just think of the college experience you can have once you do adjust.
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By: Ashley Cue