Overcoming Homesickness in College

Wave Learning Festival
3 min readAug 22, 2023

by Puja Sarkar, Press & Written Media Team

When you’re away from home in college, it’s easy to get home sick. You miss your family and friends, you miss having someone looking after you and someone to talk to. This feeling can get in the way of your academic progress and socialization, hampering your entire college experience.

Here are some ways you can overcome homesickness in college:

Acknowledge your feelings

Remember, there is nothing to feel guilty about when you miss home. So, there’s no point in trying to deny how you’re feeling. Recognize that you’re missing home and give yourself permission to be upset. Putting your sentiments in writing could be helpful. This will give you time to experience your emotions and help you better comprehend them. If necessary, reach out to a friend or seek out the counselling services offered by your university.

Staying connected to home

It might be worth making a weekly phone call back home to check in with your folks, siblings and friends. Scheduling a call in your weekend routine can make this a lot easier instead of trying to make random calls back home for longer conversations. Additionally, decorate your room with things that remind you of home — photographs, presents you might have received and such. Moreover, when you get breaks, visit. Be sure to get all your work done beforehand so that you can spend quality and undivided time with everyone and to help yourself feel better.

Keep yourself busy when on campus

College homesickness typically disappears after a few weeks as you become used to your new environment. Get out of your room and explore what the campus and neighborhood have to offer to enhance that process. Making the most of your initial few days on campus is important because you frequently have up to a week to settle in before classes begin.

Additionally, you might want to check to see if the campus fitness center has any classes you’re interested in taking, or you can join an intramural sports team or a club that interests you. As you find activities to keep yourself engaged, you’ll be able to adjust and make the university a place where you can find joy in while being productive.

Find things that remind you of home

This might seem counterintuitive but finding places like a bookshop or café that reminds you of home can give you a safe space to feel comfortable and at ease. Once you start exploring your campus and outside it, maybe you’ll find a café which serves coffee like you used to get back home or a specific meal which resonates with you with giving you a feeling of nostalgia.

Talk to others

You aren’t the only one feeling homesick. Many others like you are likely to be struggling with this feeling. Try talking to your peers about how you’re feeling, which might help you get some closure. Additionally, this would also allow you to make friends in college and develop bonds later on, making it easier to adjust.

Give yourself time

Learning to live on your own and navigating in new environments isn’t easy. You’re not going to overcome this struggle in hours and it might take you a while to settle in. So, give yourself time to adjust and understand how the next few years of your life is going to be.

Leaving what’s familiar to you including your support system is not an easy step. While starting college demands such a sacrifice, it also gives you options to overcome this heartbreaking feeling. So, instead of beating yourself over about it, look around you and find ways to overcome homesickness. After all, adjusting to the new environment and adapting is part and parcel of the college experience.

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Wave Learning Festival

Wave Learning Festival is a nonprofit committed to combating educational inequity.