Find Out How to Deal with Homesickness After Moving to University

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Dealing with Homesickness After Moving to University

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Feeling homesick after a move to university is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it's completely normal to feel out of your element on campus and in your dorm because the experience is a completely solitary one.

Unlike with a majority of other moves, you will be alone, with no family to be your support net at university. Thankfully, there are productive and healthy ways to help deal with your homesickness.

Make your dorm more like home

To help deal with your homesickness, you will want a place that at least has some of the comforts of home that you can escape to when campus life becomes to much.

While unpacking and setting up your dorm room, take the time to make the space as much like home as possible.
  • Pack mementos from your life and photos of your loved ones
  • Bring familiar belongings from your old room
  • Give your dorm a personal touch when it comes time to decorate
  • Choose comforting items for your bedding, night clothes, etc.

Throw yourself into a routine

One of the easiest ways to deal with being homesick and missing your loved ones is to distract yourself with a regular and constant routine, which will also help get you adjusted to the new life you're living. There's nothing more normalizing than a steady routine.

This will be especially easy at university as you will regularly be going to class, doing homework and studying. Chances are you'll be so busy that you won't even have time to feel homesickness set in.

Meet new people

Yet another way to cope with feelings of missing home is to make new friends while at university. By building new relationships in this very different environment, some of those feelings of homesickness will begin to lessen after your move.

It's easiest to do this if you focus on being an active member of your university community.
  • Be friendly and personable when you see someone in your dorm
  • Take advantage of communal areas like your residence hall common rooms
  • Talk to peers while waiting for classes to start, in the breaks between classes, etc.
  • Attend extracurricular group meet-ups or clubs to find like-minded individuals

Get to know the campus

Another way to dispel these feelings of homesickness is to get more comfortable with your surroundings. Get outside your dorm and explore your campus and the surrounding area. The more you know where everything is situated, the better you can navigate campus which will help greatly during this adjustment period.

Keep in touch

While you should avoid doing this all the time, it is important to keep in touch with the old life you left behind. Just make sure not to cling so tightly that you are unable to make new connections while at university.
  • Set aside some time once a week or every other week to physically talk to people you left behind
    • Consider using your web cam to have some face to face contact and discuss what you are currently feeling
  • Request care packages from your loved ones full of reminders of home
  • Keep in touch via text message, email and through social media
  • Sending physical letters through the Canada Post can also be a cathartic way to tell friends of family how much you love and miss them
  • Invite an old friend up to visit you while you are at university, which will cement some positive associations
  • Plan a time to go back home and visit with your loved ones (having something to look forward to will help time pass by quicker)

Give it time

Most importantly, give yourself time to adjust, deal with the problem productively and heal. Homesickness is not something that can be cured overnight, nor should it be. So don't rush yourself if you don't think you're acclimating fast enough, chances are you just need to wait some more for time to work its magic.

Remember, you are probably not the only person feeling this way and you should not punish yourself for it. Simply follow these tips and you'll be adjusted to your university move in no time. So much so that eventually your new life may feel more comfortable than your old one ever did.

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on June 19, 2014 - Moving Expert
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