As many as 1 in 3 first-year students won’t return for a sophomore year due to reasons like loneliness and academic struggles. College is often the first time students are truly away from “home” and in an entirely new environment. Homesickness can easily creep up when you’re separated from your support system (and adjusting to new social norms and routines).
This is a completely natural reaction to the many changes you’re experiencing. But, don’t let homesickness keep you from forming your new “norm.” If you’re a student or young professional starting your life away from your home base, try these tips to quash your homesick pangs and make new friends:
- Communicate with friends and family regularly: Just because you’re physically separated from home doesn’t mean you can’t still keep in touch with the people you love. Setting up regular phone calls or video chat sessions with friends and family will keep you updated on their lives and your spirits high.
- Make visitation plans: Making plans early on for a visit home will give you peace of mind and something to look forward to. Or, even better, invite friends and family to your new campus so they can see what you’re up to in your new place.
- Join a campus club or sporting league: Most universities provide clubs and activities for every interest (and even ones that unite students based on religious affiliation or sexual orientation). Student alumni and union boards are a good place to start for a student without a specific interest or hobby.
- Form a study group: Suggesting a study group for classmates is a convenient way to form potential friendships. You can focus on your common schoolwork, all while getting to know your fellow classmates on a personal level.
- Get to know your neighbors: If you’re in a dorm, participate in resident activities where you can meet your dorm mates and have fun. For those in an apartment or rental home, invite your neighbors over for a seasonal get-together at your place.
- Apply for a local job: Getting a part-time position somewhere near campus will help you earn some extra cash and meet other co-workers. Plus, building those connections and starting a new routine will help you grow “roots” in your new home town.
- Explore your new home base: Research the best or historic spots to see around campus or around town. Seeking out these new places will grow your affection for your new home and create memories that will last a lifetime.
If you need help finding your new home base, search 4Stay.com for rentals near your campus.