Although first-year college girls are slightly more susceptible to the dreaded homesickness bug, it can affect you during any point in your college career. Whether you miss your boyfriend, BFF, Mom's cooking, or all of the above, here are a few tips to help you beat the homesick blues and get back to being your usual self:
1. Acknowledge It.
The first thing you need to do is realize that what you're feeling is perfectly normal, that many other girls are feeling the same way, and that it won't last forever.
So find a quiet spot and give yourself a little bit of alone time to feel down. You can cry, you can write in a journal, you can listen to sad music, and you don't have to feel guilty or childish for it. Sometimes it's as simple as that: Allowing yourself to feel sad and get it all out might just be all you need to get out of your slump.
Talking to friends or roommates about it can help, too, especially since they might also be feeling alone or embarrassed. You can reminisce about what you miss most about home, and take comfort in the fact that someone else is going through the same thing.
2. Stay In Touch.
If getting in touch with your emotions isn't doing the job, try getting in touch with home itself. Although e-mailing your parents at work from your phone eight times a day will probably make things worse, checking in with them once in a while via phone, e-mail, or Skype can make you feel more connected and less distanced from home.
If home isn't too far from your school, see if you can make arrangements to go home for a weekend. Spending time in familiar surroundings and eating a home-cooked meal or two can recharge your batteries for the next stint away. If you're not lucky enough to live close to home, consider going to visit a friend's home one weekend that is close by. Though it's not quite the same thing, it might be enough to shake your homesickness.
3. Get Going.
While options one and two are great, neither of them are long-term solutions. Wallowing and feeling sorry for yourself will only make your homesickness worse, and can actually lead to depression and anxiety.
Once you've acknowledged how you feel, and have re-connected with home, it's time to get out there and get your mind off things. Getting involved, breaking out of your shell, and keeping busy is the best cure for homesickness out there--it worked for me at sleep-away camp when I was 8, and it worked for me freshmen year when I was 18, too.
Schoolwork is a great way to keep busy, but don't limit yourself to just that. Find things that are fun to make sure you're enjoying your time away, not just suffering through it. Going to lunch with classmates, renting a movie with your girls, or heading to the clubs for a night of dancing are all totally acceptable and encouraged ways to get over your homesickness slump.
What Do You Think?
Homesickness can feel overwhelming sometimes, but it will pass with time; especially if you follow the tips above. Have you experienced homesickness this year? What's your tried-and-true method to cure it? Leave us a comment and let us know!