Overcoming Homesickness

May 11th, 2015 by Pearson

The varsity years are characterised by change. Lots of it. You’re in a completely new educational environment, and it takes a while to get used to the pace of lectures and self-discipline. What’s more, if you move out of home to be closer to campus, you have even more adjustments to get used to.

Homesickness is a reality for many students, and is particularly tough to deal with if you’re an introvert. Those who feel uncomfortable in the company of groups don’t have the social buffer that their extroverted peers enjoy. For the outgoing, campus parties are exciting ways to make new friends and acclimatise to the varsity environment. Shy people, however, find roomfuls of strangers incredibly intimidating and, as a result, are more likely to decline an invitation.

Even if the vibrant social scene isn’t for you, there are ways to ease yourself into college life. Take a look:

Make yourself at home
When you move into a dormitory or a communal digs, you need to own your new space. Bring some special items from home – aside from the essentials for living. Things like favourite pictures, wall clocks or other ornaments can go a long way to personalising your new residence. Likewise, bringing your old bedding instead of new linen can also help turn your living quarters into a personal refuge. When you have a place to call your own, it’s easier to stave off the homesickness.

Join a club or society
Even though this smacks of socialising, it’s easier to get used to a new environment if you immerse yourself in it. The handy thing about joining a club is that there’s a common interest among all who gather, and you’ll always have something to talk about. This is different from a meet-your-neighbours party, because there’s less booze and more structured interaction. People who get lost in a crowd find this particularly comforting, as there’s no need to shout to be heard.

Find one person to connect with
Ok, you miss your home, and you feel completely lost without your long-time friends. Being lonely can make it harder to meet new people, but there’s a way around this. By connecting with just one person, you’ll slowly be able to open up and enjoy the varsity experience.

Even if you’re no good in a crowd, you’ll feel more capable of dealing with your new challenges when you have at least one other human to speak to. Whether it’s the guy across the street or the girl you sit next to in lectures, be brave and make contact.

The truth is that the only cure for homesickness is time. How you spend your days is up to you, but interacting with the opportunities that surround you will make you feel better sooner.