There are so many emotions that will go through your mind as you go to college. Everything can be really exciting, fun, depressing or scary, just like when you read American Musical and Dramatic Academy Reviews while you try to choose what college to go to. Many new students end up faced with homesickness. This can appear at different strength levels.
What has to be understood is that homesickness is normal. You just need to understand what the condition is, identify it and then take the steps needed to make things better for you. Although easier said than done, it is always possible.
The really good news is that although college students almost always experience some homesickness, few actually end up being affected by it in a way that studying is not possible anymore. Overall academic performance is actually impacted just in 4.2% of cases by homesickness. This does not mean there are not many students that are affected.
The most common warning signs that a college student is dealing with homesickness are:
- Always thinking about something back home
- Low motivation
- Social withdrawal
- Missing things or people
- Looking for a meaningful connection
Make sure that you do not confuse depression with homesickness. The college students that are dealing with stress and homesickness want to go home. When they are home, negative feelings disappear. If you are depressed, the feeling does not go away when you are home or you do something that you absolutely love.
How To Feel Better When Affected By Homesickness
Obviously, what works for you might not work for others. The trick is to keep trying different things until you find something that is really effective for you. Some of the things you should consider include:
- Allow yourself the time needed to adjust to the brand new environment you experience.
- Remember that homesickness is completely normal.
- Be open about what you feel with family and friends. If you need more help, discuss things with counselors.
- Add pictures of things that remind you of home to your dorm room.
- Start being a part of campus activities.
- Plan home visits but always remember that you will get back to school.
- Avoid drinking alcohol to hide your feelings. Never take drugs and try to avoid all risky behaviors. It is always better to keep a clear head.
- Look for ways in which you can relax. Some people use breathing exercises while others listen to music. See what works for you and try to relax as much as possible.
- Stay realistic when it comes to college expectations. You have to relax and be a part of activities that you really love, besides studying. If you just focus on studying, it is easy to end up burned out.
In so many cases homesickness is simply overwhelming. The college student really wants to go home. Whenever things get worse, the best thing that you can do is to just plan a trip home. In time, things do get better and you get used to college life, as long as you allow yourself to do that.