You settle into your university dorm room. The excitement of breaking out of your old, programmed life begins to sink in. Shortly after, you’re bombarded with new tasks, people, and stressors. You lose your ‘normal,’ and you begin to feel homesick.
The main reason people experience homesickness is not that they’re alone or miss “home.” Instead, people miss the familiarity that comes along with being home, such as familiar people, foods, and places. Due to this, people begin to feel lonely despite not necessarily being alone. This isn’t uncommon so know that you’re not alone in this feeling.
Things some students have found helpful:
Be kind to yourself
You don’t have to perfect every aspect of your life right off the bat. You don’t have to be able to maintain high marks, exercise every day, and eat as healthy as a giraffe all in one go. Give yourself some time and take things step by step. Break down your goals into smaller, more attainable checklists and celebrate every small victory.
Get out there!
Join extracurriculars or clubs that fall in line with your interests to establish a familiarity within this new environment. By doing this, you develop a sense of community and comfort which can reduce your fear of the unfamiliar by getting out of your comfort zone.
Focus on the good
It’s easy to get caught up with all the negative aspects of a situation. However, look at this as an opportunity to discover yourself, establish independence, and grow. Instill within yourself skills, such as resilience and perseverance. If you cannot, that is completely fine! Reach out and seek the support you need.
You are not alone
It may seem like everyone around you has it all figured out, but that’s not the case. We all go through hardships in different ways. Take some time to reflect on your current situation and determine what it is you need.
By: Carine Bekdache
Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/16/homesickness.not.about.home/index.html https://uwaterloo.ca/campus-wellness/health-promotion/health-topics/homesickness