Friday, August 31, 2012

Overcoming Homesickness

The Fall means the start of something new for all college students. This can mean lots of excitement and happy anticipation, but can also create feelings of homesickness for many students living away from familiar supports. While missing home is completely normal and such feelings suggest positive things like having a supportive home environment, it can also lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety and stress. Here are a few tips to help you cope with homesickness:
  • Know you are not alone. Many other students share similar feelings, even though they may not tell you about it.
  • Schedule a visit home. Set a definite date for a visit home, but first allow yourself enough time to settle into Hofstra. If you go home every weekend, you might miss out on a full college experience and in turn create more feelings of homesickness.  
  • Stay in touch by phone and email...occasionally. Daily phone calls can just reinforce a person’s sense of homesickness or isolation. Calling less frequently may actually help to reduce feelings of homesickness.  
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Sit with someone you don’t know at lunch or in class. Invite someone to have coffee with you. Join a student club or attend a new activity on campus.  
  • Plan time to feel homesick. Plan some time to reflect on these feelings and to accept them. Taking charge of your feelings in this way often helps to work through them.  
  • Remember to take care of yourself. Do your best to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise. Staying healthy is important to emotional well being.
  • Look at this time as an exciting opportunity. Looking at this separation from home (and loved ones) as an opportunity to develop personally can help you form new, life-long skills of learning to cope with challenges.
If you are still having difficulty adjusting don't hesitate to contact Student Counseling Services at 516-463-6791 to arrange to meet with a counselor or to attend our Social Connections group. Please visit our website for more information.