Coping with homesickness
WHEN you go to college, you may only be a few miles away, and in your own country, but homesickness can still strike.
It’s a weird feeling, very unsettling and it can stop you from getting to grips with your study course. Here are some ideas to get over it.
Know what’s going on
Homesickness is a stress reaction that comes from being in an unfamiliar place. You are anxious and depressed because everything is new: the place, the people and the routine. So you pine for the familiar routine of home and friends – even that awful uncle and difficult aunt.
Recognise it’s temporary
It feels like you won’t ever be happy again, but that’s part of the depression that comes from the stress of change. Homesickness goes away as soon as you start to make friends and adapt to the new routine.
Go out and mingle
The best way to adapt is to make new connections. That means going to class and talking to the person next to you ( although not in the middle of the lecture) and joining a club so you can meet people who love what you love.
Recognise they’re all feeling it
The people around you are probably feeling just as homesick as you are. Some will show it, some won’t, but feeling disoriented in a new place is very common. So know that you’re not alone.
Stay off social media
Seeing everything back home hasn’t changed is just brutal. So switch off the phone and connect with real people around you. You need to make a new home, and you can’t do that over the phone.
Give it time
It will take a couple of weeks before you settle in. If after a fortnight you’re still feeling awful, see a counsellor. All colleges have them and they’re all familiar with homesickness.