How to Handle Homesickness

by Molly Scott

If you ever feel lonely or homesick,
give someone you love a call

Moving into your freshman dorm at Barnard is something you will never forget. NSOP week is an exciting and important time, but one that may bring about some unsettling emotions. While meeting an enormous amount of classmates, getting to know your roommate, and navigating your way through two new campuses, you may begin to feel yourself missing your home, friends, family, or just that good feeling of being in a familiar environment. Homesickness is a completely normal and an important part of the adjustment to college life. Here are some tips and tricks for overcoming homesickness and adjusting to life at Barnard.

Pay attention to how often you communicate with loved ones from home
Some people feel better after talking to the people they miss during NSOP week. It can create the feeling that we are not so far from them. However, for some, talking to loved ones at home or a conversation with family could result in even stronger feelings of homesickness. Explore how often you feel comfortable talking with your family and try to stick with the routine you create.

Take advantage of distractions
NSOP can be insanely busy with activities scheduled to occupy almost every minute of your day. There is a reason for that: when your mind is occupied with other tasks, you don’t have the time to think about your home and family. If you find yourself feeling blue when you’re idle, try to keep yourself busy—even during down time in the dorm. Try reaching out to your hall-mates, getting to know your RA better, or decorating your room.

Take time to grieve
People grieve after they lose something dear to them. When feeling homesick, you are grieving the loss of the life you had at home with your parents, siblings, and friends. It is a completely normal and healthy process. Pick a specific time everyday to allow yourself to grieve. Don’t be embarrassed to cry! For some people, crying can be a great way to let emotion out. It’s a good idea to grieve in a private place though. Your room or your RAs room is a good place to express your homesickness.

Exercise and Eat Healthy

Nothing wrong with a little comfort food, too!

Taking good care of yourself will contribute to the way you feel. Take time everyday to do something physical: go for a jog in Riverside, explore the gyms on campus, or just take a walk with some new friends. Eating a balanced diet during NSOP can be quite a challenge. However, while at Hewitt, try to get at least one healthy food on your plate per meal. It will make you feel good, both physically and mentally.

Finally, if you feel like your homesickness is becoming too overwhelming or it’s affecting your schoolwork, don’t hesitate to talk to your RA or make a visit to Furman Counseling Center (more Barnard girls use this resource than you might think). They are located on the first floor of Hewitt (use the Reid entrance) and are expecting students to come in this time of year with feelings of homesickness. They are there to help!

Molly Scott is a sophomore at Barnard and Girl Talk editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of Malar World and Real Age.

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