Beating Homesick

Homesickness is a term that is often used to describe feelings of loss, confusion, anxiety and loneliness following a move or major change in life. It is very common. Almost everyone experiences it at one time or another, and people who have just started at a new school in a new place are at high risk.

What that means is that if you are feeling homesick after starting at Webster, you are probably not alone; in fact, you're normal! The other good news is that homesickness can be overcome. This Web page will provide you with some resources to help deal with and beat homesickness. Read through it, try some of the ideas, and if they don't work try something different!

So what can I do about Homesickness? All kinds of things. Here are some ideas of things to help you stay connected to home while still getting comfortable at Webster. Try these and see if you can think of others...

Create a "home away from home."

  • Bring familiar things from home to decorate your room; make your new space somewhere you feel comfortable.

Keep a journal.

  • Write about your fears, excitements, achievements, expectations and other experiences.

Talk with someone who has been through it.

  • If you have an older friend or sibling, even a parent, who has survived homesickness, it may help to talk to them about what you are feeling and what they did to get through it.

Make plans to go home and stick to them.

  • Don't just go home impulsively, and stay on campus at least as often as you go home.

Find ways to communicate regularly with friends & family at home.

  • Budget money for phone-calls.
  • Send E-mail.
  • Use Instant Messaging or other Internet chat options.

Make a commitment to meet people here, and make the time to do so.

  • Attend floor functions.
  • If you live in a residence hall, leave your door open so people can stop by and say hello.
  • Talk to people in the halls & other common areas.

Get to know the place - Explore!

  • Get comfortable with the campus and surrounding area.
  • Bring someone else along with you and share the experience.

Go to campus events.

  • Sports, concerts, theater, homecoming, etc.

Get Involved.

  • Make an effort to get to know your classmates.
  • Find an organization(s) that involve your interests & go to the meetings.
  • If the first organization you try isn't right for you, try another!

Find a hobby.

  • Just having something to do will help keep you from brooding about home.

Avoid negative coping strategies.

  • Don't use alcohol, drugs or sex to hide from homesickness (or anything else); those problems will still be there and new ones will get added on!

Find a balance between work & play.

  • Added stress from pushing yourself too hard in class and having no fun can make homesickness worse. So can stress from playing too hard and blowing off class!

Take care of yourself.

  • Be sure to get enough food & sleep. Hunger and exhaustion will only make things worse!

If things get too bad, talk to a counselor.

And remember, homesickness often passes on its own as a person becomes more involved with his or her new surroundings. The suggestions above will help you to do just that while keeping some of the support you have from home. With time and some effort, almost everyone does just fine!

What if Homesickness doesn't go away on its own? While homesickness usually goes away after a few weeks, it can sometimes be more persistent. If this is the case, you may wish to: Talk to someone who can help you through it.

Consider if Webster is the right place for you to be right now.

Homesickness is often just a manifestation of fears about the future and is overcome once we realize that we can cope in a new situation; however, sometimes it is a sign that we need to be somewhere else in order to do what is best for us. If you feel that this may be the case in your situation, we encourage you to discuss this option with your advisor and/or a counselor before you make your final decision so that you can make the most informed choice possible.

If you want some more resources for homesickness, you can check the net. One place to try is www.HumanityQuest.com. Click here for their homesickness page.