The time you've been waiting on for months, maybe even years is finally here! You've spent forever dreaming about the amazing new people you'll meet and filling your Pinterest boards with ideas for the most picturesque dorm room on campus. If you listen carefully enough, you can just about hear all the fascinating lectures that you'll get to experience in order to get your degree in a study you're totally passionate about. Not to mention, you finally get to get out of that dumb hometown of yours.
But that time has come and gone and your parents have been home for a few weeks, and you're sitting on your bed and you can't help but feel that something's not right. That maybe these amazing people are a little too amazing, this dorm room is a little too perfect and while your professors are cool, they certainly aren't your beloved AP English teacher. And maybe, just maybe, that old hometown wasn't so bad after all.
It's time to face the music: You're homesick! And that's alright! It happens to the best of us, whether or not we'd like to admit it. Just follow these tips if you find yourself missing home while away at the college of your dreams.
1. Listen to your favorite radio station.
Apps and websites such as iHeartRadio allow you to listen to just about any radio station around the country, regardless of where you are currently located. I have a ride or die station that was on whenever I was in my car back at home. Listening to it in my dorm room is enough to make me feel all fuzzy inside. Sure, the music is great, but it's really all the local ads and the familiar voices of the hosts that transport me back to my beloved Jersey Shore for a little while.
2. Watch your favorite TV show.
Did you always root for your favorite baseball team with your dad on weeknights? Or cry over This Is Us with your best friend on Tuesday nights? Find a way to watch your favorite programs while at school and pour out all your feelings afterwards via phone. It'll be just like old times.
3. Swap stories with your roommate.
Keep a good relationship with your roommate, for they will see you at your best, your worst and every other moment in between. Some of the best moments you'll have with your roommate are the times when you're each sprawled across your bed at the end of a long day, talking about your family and your friends and all the funny things that happened in high school.
4. Eat snacks from home.
When thinking about what food you want to stock your dorm with, keep in mind the strawberry toaster pastries you had before school every day in high school, or the Goldfish you loved to bring with your lunch in elementary school. Maybe even try to convince your mom to send you a care package with some of her famous homemade chocolate chip cookies or that cereal that they only have at your local grocery store. Never underestimate the power of food to make you feel right at home!
5. Hang pictures from home.
This is a no-brainer, but is still very helpful. Looking at these memories of your friends, family, pets and hometown will remind you that it wasn't "goodbye," just a "see you later."
6. Find the place (or places) where you belong on campus.
Getting involved on campus will help you find a second family at your home away from home. Maybe it's a club or sport that you invested your life to in high school, or maybe it's something completely new that you've always wanted to try!
7. Keep busy.
Going along with the previous tip, just busy yourself in general. Whether it be socially, an on-campus job, volunteering or something else. The busier you are, the less time you'll have to miss home.
Don't stay trapped on campus. Explore your school's surrounding area every now and then. The more you familiarize yourself with the area you're living in, the more you will fall in love with it and the less scary it will feel.
9. FaceTime your loved ones.
At the end of the day, there's always good old FaceTime, Skype or any other video chat service to call your loved ones. The added luxury of getting to see their face while speaking to them is the perfect way to cure a little homesickness.
10. Go home.
Who says you can't go home? Of course, this isn't always possible depending on how far away your home is or your course or activity load. But you can plan your trips home for breaks ahead of time or encourage your friends and family to come visit you on long weekends. Anticipate these visits and trips home by putting them on your calendar. At the end of a long, stressful day, getting to see such on a thing on your calendar will bring a smile to your face.
When it comes to homesickness, just know that you are certainly not alone. And besides, being homesick is a good thing. It proves that you have something so good back home that it made saying goodbye so difficult!
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