Thursday, August 9, 2012

Handling Being Homesick

So today I'm going to talk about a more serious issue that often arises for college freshman, as well as older college students...and that's being homesick.

I'd be absolutely lying if I said I've never been homesick in my two years of college so far. I'd also being lying if I said that getting over being homesick is easy. Because it's not.

My freshman year was without a doubt, the hardest. See, unlike a lot of my peers, I love my family. I want to be around them. I miss home. I miss my dog and guinea pigs. Previously, I hadn't even slept over at a friend's house before. So as you can imagine, transitioning to not seeing my parents every day was tough. On top of it, I was battling stress from school, my roommates fighting, and being diagnosed with anxiety. It was not fun. In fact, all I wanted was to go home.

I don't have all the answers for how to ward homesickness away, that's for sure. But I will say that my sophomore year was better because I knew myself better. I know what are triggers for me to feel this way. For instance, despite my shyness and being an introvert, I need people around. When my roommate and boyfriend went home for the weekend, I had to stay on top of my emotions. If I'm watching a movie, it definitely can't be sad. That I can think about home, but I can't obsess about how much I miss my pets. Things like that.

Here are some things that helped me:

-Call home. Hearing your parents’ voices can definitely help. It can make you feel more connected despite the distance. Only problem: at some point you need to learn how to deal with this feeling on your own, so try not to call them several times a day.

-Have pictures of loved ones and pets around!

-During downtime, find a hobby that occupies your mind. Things like crafting, reading, cleaning, or blogging. Honestly, without Scrubs on Netflix, my freshman year, I think I wouldn’t have made it.

-Become involved! Definitely joining a sorority helped me a lot. I’m busy at least two to three nights a week. Downtime was my greatest enemy.

-Visit people on your floor/friends in other buildings.

-Go home! I’ve found that going home every other weekend is the perfect amount of visitation time for me.

-Decorate your dorm room into a comforting space. My anxiety made it hard to get out of bed on some days. So I made my bedding as comfy and cute as possible.

-Use technology! Skype old friends!

-Don’t use shopping/eating/partying to make you feel better. This only creates BIGGER issues.

-Find a good supportive, group of friends. For me, it was my boyfriend and my sorority sisters. My boyfriend can tell when I’m feeling anxious just from looking at me. Even from reading texts that I think are perfectly normal. Find people that are positive, happy, fun, and kind.

-Focus on school. Find a favorite study spot.

-Try to be as busy as possible. Go to the campus rec center, walk around campus, or visit the library.

-Talk to your RA or Dorm Director. If it gets really bad, don't be afraid to ask for resources like your campus mental health services. They are there for you and so helpful.

-If all else fails, four things that always help me: calling my boyfriend, sleeping, taking a shower, and hot chocolate.

No comments:

Post a Comment