Saturday, 23 September 2023

Dealing with Homesickness During the Freshman Year | Professional Tips

Written by  The Dubrovnik Times May 27, 2022

Transitioning to college life can be challenging for any student, especially since this level of education is often relatively less structured. College comes with its freedoms and frustrations, and many learners find it hard to adjust to their new environments. Recent studies show a worrying trend where close to 30% of the dropout rate comes from first-year college students choosing to terminate their studies before their sophomore year.

One of the reasons commonly cited for the high dropout rates in the United States is homesickness. This is a phenomenon typified by feelings of loss and grief students feel when separated from their familiar surroundings. As students navigate the transition from high school to college, homesickness can emerge in anxiety, depression, or unexplained sadness.

Although homesickness is quite common and may be expected in some instances, it can interfere with students’ quality of life and academic outcomes. This article offers a few insights from professionals on coping with homesickness and thriving during the first year on campus.

  • Understand that the Feelings are Normal

The most important tip to remember if you struggle to adjust to university life is that the feelings are normal. Studies indicate that close to 66% of first-year students feel unsettled at one point during their spell on campus. So, although you may be feeling down, know that this is an ordinary sign that you justifiably miss the coziness of your home.

Remember, feelings of melancholy are triggered by rapid change, such as trying to adjust to college life. With time, your campus environment will become more familiar, and you will be able to adjust. Therefore, expect feelings of melancholy to dissipate with time. Acknowledging that your feelings are normal will go a long way in helping you to confront and cope with them.

Give yourself some time to feel homesick, but don’t feel down for too long. Feelings of homesickness can be lonesome. However, knowing that you are not alone in your struggles certainly helps. Talk to your peers and classmates and find solace in offering support.

  • Seek Support

College comes with numerous challenges, some of which may seem overwhelming for first-year students. You will have tons of assignments to deal with, besides creating time to study for tests. If you choose to get a part-time job, your schedule will be mostly swamped. Don’t be afraid of asking for assistance whenever you feel overwhelmed. You can always hire a reliable essay writer to help with some of your tasks.

  • Go Out More Often

Another rule when looking for ways to cope with melancholy is to go out often. Since you are in a new atmosphere, you may feel tempted to stay within the confines of your familiar dorm room. However, confining yourself to your room only makes you more isolated and alone. Consider getting out often and being active in your new surroundings.

So, rather than spending your free time in your room, use the opportunity to explore your campus. Try to discover what your college has to offer. Getting outside and being involved allows you to focus on other things, taking your mind away from depressing thoughts. It also gives you a chance to meet new people and make friends.

  • Try to Create New Friendships

You need to work on your social support system during these challenging times. Remember, college is a perfect place to make new friends who will help you long after graduating.

The friends you meet in college will make living campus life more manageable. When it comes to adjusting to college life, mingling with other students is critical. You may find persons with whom you share interests and ambitions.

  • Keep In Touch with Loved Ones at Home


 Coping with homesickness often requires delicately balancing contacting home and giving loved ones some space. Although you may be far from your loved ones, you can still sustain contact. Your friends and family will always be one phone call away.

That said, you should limit the number of times you call home. You don’t want your interactions with people at home to interfere with your ability to adjust to your college life. Don’t cut off links immediately. Call from time to time to ease the transition and reduce the stress that often accompanies being a freshman.

The critical point is always to remember that you are not alone. Your college has numerous resources you can turn to when you need assistance. For instance, if you have relationship problems or just find it hard to fit in, you can talk to a student counsellor.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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