Many college students today choose to go away for college, and there are plenty of great things that come with that decision. However, the one thing that makes being away from home for the first time difficult is the homesickness that everyone inevitably ends up feeling. (even me, as a senior).
When I came to the Mount almost four years ago as a brand new freshman, it was my very first time being away from home for a long period of time. I am from Long Island, which is about two hours (when there isn’t tons of traffic) away from the Mount. Another fun fact about me is that I am an only child, which also means that growing up, I only ever lived with my parents. I thought for sure that going away to school and being without my parents for the first time would be the best thing ever, and I believed (foolishly) that I would never get homesick.
I was very wrong.
By the end of Move In Day freshman year, I was crying in my bed and already thinking of ways to tell my parents that this going away to school thing just was not for me. With the first month of school about to end, I am sure there are alot of you (not just freshman!) who are feeling what I felt not so long ago.
I am here to tell you though that it gets better, and here are 4 simple steps to follow to ensure that it does:
- Call your family. Whether it be just a quick phone call or a Facetime chat, calling your parents will help ease some of those homesick feelings. The key is to call about 3-4 times a week. This makes sure that you get to hear and maybe even see pieces of home without making yourself even more homesick than you already are. (Also your parents will appreciate it!)
- Take a visit home or invite people to come visit. I always try to go home at least once a month, which breaks up the semester and gives me a chance to be home with my family, all while not getting too comfortable with being home again and not at school. Having your family or friends from home come to visit is also a nice way of getting that taste of home without getting too comfortable.
- Get involved on campus. Another hard part of being away is making new friends. Getting involved in a club or sport is a great way to make friends and give you something to do when your classes are done for the day. When you are alone in your dorm room with nothing to do, those homesick feelings really hit you the hardest, so staying busy and being with other people is what truly makes all the difference.
- Lean on your friends. Once you have found a group of people that you really bond with and can call your friends do not be afraid to talk to them. I can promise you that the chances they are feeling at least a little homesick too are extremely high.
For those of us who have been here for a while now, I am here to tell you that you can still feel homesick even as a junior or senior too (i.e. me and my friends last week). No, you’re not strange; it happens to all of us!
Living away from home can be hard. But soon enough, you’ll start to see the Mount as your second home, and you’ll be homesick for the Mount too! Just remember, it gets better; I promise.