The college you choose to attend may have thousands of other people there. Still, you may find yourself feeling alone somehow. Homesickness is very common among college students. For many freshman college students it is the first time living away from their families, so missing home is completely natural. For many, being homesick can last more than just freshmen year. You want to be prepared. Here are a few helpful tips for when you find yourself feeling homesick in college.
Take Your Favorite Cuddly Items
Before you move in, make sure to pack something personal that makes you feel more connected to home. An old stuffed animal, blanket, or an old t-shirt/sweatshirt are all good options. Having something in your room that makes you feel at home can be really comforting.
Use Technology to Stay in Touch
Pick one day of the week that you and your family can Skype or Facetime (depending on what device you use). Talking on the phone is great, but actually getting to see each other while you’re talking makes a big difference! It’s like they’re really there with you. You can do the same thing with your friends.
Take Your Favorite Books and DVDs
Pack your favorite books and DVDs. When you start to get a little homesick, getting lost in your favorite book or movie can be really comforting. Watching your favorite TV show on Netflix is also really helpful. Weirdly enough, watching or reading something that makes you nostalgic can actually make you feel better when you start to miss home!
Have Comfort Food Available to You
Comfort food can also do wonders for homesickness. When you’re missing home, treat yourself to some familiar comfort foods from growing up: ice cream, cookies, mac and cheese or whatever you love! Eating something that makes you happy can help you get through it!
Take a First Aid Kid
Get a small plastic storage box and create a First Aid Kit with all the essentials as well as stocking up on any medication that you typically take when you get sick; things like cold medicine, stuff for nausea, and pain relievers/fever reducers like Tylenol. When you start to feel a little under the weather, it can make you feel really homesick, so it’s good to be prepared. The first time you get sick away from home is always the hardest; you’ll really want someone to take care of you, so already having what you need will make things easier!
Every year at every university there are various campus events that no freshman should miss out on. For any incoming freshmen wondering what to do with their time, here’s a list of some great events that you need to see for yourself:
Homecoming Football Game: I’m using the term homecoming lightly here. Some schools have special high turnouts for the very first football game of the school year, while others focus more on their homecoming game later in the semester. At my University, a huge blue and yellow parade of freshmen traditionally marches across the campus all the way to the stadium for the first game of the year. The phenomenon is not one to miss, and especially not one to miss being a part of!
Fall Semester Concert: For some students, this might be their first concert all together, but whether it’s your first, or hundredth, I highly recommend going to your school’s fall show, no matter who the performer is. Go with a group of friends, relax and have fun!
Club Fair: For many schools, there will only be one of these a year, so don’t miss out! Even if you don’t think you have any interest in campus organizations at all, you might find one, or a dozen, that you’ve never heard of before and want to try. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you sign up for a club at the fair, you are not committed. If you’re even remotely interested in the concept of an organization or its cause, just go to its first meeting, and find out for yourself.
Syllabus Week: Unfortunately, this isn’t a fun occasion, but don’t let any upperclassmen convince you this first week doesn’t matter for classes. Many professors will begin work the first week of class, and you may even start learning new material. Don’t skip this!
Any events specifically for freshmen: There’s a very wide variety of these little get-togethers, and yes, some of them may be boring. However, most are not. They offer a great chance for you to start getting to know your classmates early, so don’t miss out!
College schedules vary greatly, so check out your university’s website to see what is happening on campus! Nothing fun ever happened to the guy who stayed home every day, and you’ll always remember your freshman year, so start making some good memories! For other freshman year must haves don’t forget to check out our Quick List here. Know of any unique or interesting events hosted by your school? Tell us about them below in our comments section.