Going away to college can be extremely exciting for most people, but for some, it can be very scary to be so far away from family. This is especially the case if you decide to study out-of-state. Then again, no matter who you are, it’s natural to feel homesick throughout your first semester of college. If the feeling doesn’t wane by the time you are in the second half of the year, then you definitely want to see about talking to your school therapist, because these feelings could be indicative of depression, which should be treated professionally. Here are some do’s and don’ts for dealing with homesickness in college.
DO: Try to Make Friends
Homesickness is often the product of leaving the many friends and family members from home behind and not having anyone to fill the void. Of course, no one can replace all of your loved ones, but when you start to make new friends you will realize that many people can provide you with the companionship you need in order to feel happy and enthused.
DON’T: Reach Out to Just Anybody
While you do want to try and make new friends, you don’t want to try and make friends with just anybody. There are a lot of people to meet and you want to be sure that you meet those who are the most genuine and compatible with your personality. If you aren’t selective with the people you spend your time with, you may end up feeling more isolated by the fact that you don’t relate. That’s why you want to build community around shared passions.
DO: Schedule Time to Communicate with Family
If you have friends and family members that you’re struggling with being apart from, then you definitely want to make phone calls with them a part of your schedule. Just finding one or two days per week when you can sit down for a video chat will make it so much easier for you to get by because you’ll know that there will be time to discuss all the changes in your life, both positive and negative.
DON’T: Spend Too Much Time Connecting with Family
You definitely want to make sure that you are connecting with the people that you miss on a regular basis, but you don’t want to be spending too much of your time connecting with people who can’t be present with you. You should try to make sure that the majority of your free time is spent with the people who can be present with you. Not only will this quell a lot of your loneliness, but it will also ensure that you start to embrace your new college life.
DO: Talk to a Counselor if it Doesn’t Die Down Naturally
Even if you’re personally earning a therapeutic degree, like Wake Forest’s counseling degree, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need someone to talk to every now and again. If you’re feeling genuinely depressed then you need to seek professional help, because you don’t want to suffer unnecessarily, and you don’t want to start self-medicating.