My name is Kasey and I'm one of many students who struggled with homesickness. But no, I'm not an international student. Those under that category may have had a rougher time than I did dealing with being away from their home, family and friends. However, having moved across the country of Canada over a distance of 1,800 miles, I still struggled with a recurring feeling of homesickness. Despite not missing my parents at all when I first left home, the feeling of sadness gradually crept up on me throughout the first semester.
Slowly but surely, a picture of my relatives on my desk and the lock screen photo on my phone continued to remind me of my high school life, where the ones I loved were always by my side. I just could not believe I was almost 2,000 miles away, and I almost felt guilty for leaving them to live by myself to begin with. The reason I struggle less with homesickness than I did before is due to many different factors. Look out first-years. Be prepared to say goodbye for four months. Be strong and take some of the following advice.
1. Video chat with your family frequently.
If you’re able to see their faces instead of just regularly calling them, you may feel less apart. A voice is one thing; seeing them on video is another. Showing them your new environment and lifestyle will allow you to feel more connected even though you may be far away.
2. Have sleepovers with your friends when there is time.
Making new friends in your new dorm or living with friends from your old high school brings many new opportunities to have fun during your free time. A sleepover would be an amazing idea, and the feeling of missing home can be shared between friends. It's never fair to face the sadness alone.
3. Explore the new town/city you live in, take pictures and send them back to your folks.
Forget taking just photos of the university you live and study in. Look outside the box and explore what your new town has to offer. Take photos and show your parents that you’re living and exploring life like you did back at home.
4. Stay involved with your residence.
Don’t worry, most residences are ready to help your transition from home to college life. They organize many weekly events that involve bringing everyone together for fun times and good laughs. Look forward to smiling again with new friends. Try to stay involved with activities associated with your residence in order to make long-lasting friendships and a long-lasting smile.
5. Join a club on campus.
Another piece of advice I would like to mention is to join a club. College clubs not only bring a collective group of minds who possess similar interests together, but they also start friendships that last a lifetime. Eventually, a new group of friends can become a second family.
I hope I was able to provide some valuable advice for the upcoming first-year students who look forward to moving out and starting a new life in a new city.
Lead Image Credit: Kasey Fu