Counseling Services - Adjusting 1

Student Adjustment

Homesickness: It's Universal
Psychologists call it "separation anxiety" and few people are immune. It is experienced by the kindergartner going off to school as well as the businessperson starting a new job. Here are a few tips to help you through it now or in the future.

Admit That You Are Homesick
Much of what you know and can rely on is back home. Homesickness is a natural response to this sense of loss.

Talk About It
with a roommate, sibling, or friend from home, resident assistant, family member, or if necessary, a counselor. It takes strength to accept the fact that something is bothering you and to confront it.

Bring Familiar Items From Home
to your new location. Photos, plants, even stuffed animals help to give one a sense of continuity and ease the shock of a new environment.

Keep In Touch
with the people back home. Call home (if you can) more often for awhile and share the fact that you miss your family, your room, your old friends, your pets, your neighborhood, and yes, maybe even your problematic younger sister/brother(s). Write them reports of your activities and new experiences. Let them know you'd like to hear from them too.

Put Pictures Up
of your parents, house, siblings, old friends, or pets, in your room to give you a more comfortable and safe feeling.

New Situations Take Time To Get Used To
Realize that one longs (for awhile) for what is familiar.

Familiarize Yourself With Your New Surroundings
Walk around. You will feel more in control if you know where buildings, classes, and services are.

Invite People Along To Explore
Get together with new people in your surroundings and do comfortable and comforting fun things (i.e., lunch, walks, bike rides, talks, etc.). Making friends is a big step to alleviating homesickness.

Plan A Date To Go Home
and make arrangements. This often helps curtail impulsive returns and keeps you focused on your goals in staying.

Examine Your Expectations
We'd all like to be popular, well-dressed, well-organized, well-adjusted. Well, we're not. Setting a goal of perfection is the most predictable way of creating trouble for yourself. Laugh at your mistakes. You're learning.

Seek New Opportunities
As scary as it is to see all those new people, all those classes, all those buildings, all those choices, they will provide opportunities to meet people who like what you like and take classes that you're interested in. Try getting involved in your favorite activity or try new ones.

Do Something
Don't try to bury the feeling and don't wait for it to go away by itself. Buried problems often emerge later disguised as headaches, fatigue, illness or lack of motivation. Don't drink more or have sex just to make the feelings go away.

Consider Getting More Exercise
by using a recreation center or the aquatic center which offers recreational and lap swimming and water aerobics.

Take Advantage
of inexpensive movies at the student union and other campus activities and athletic events.

APPRECIATE YOURSELF and your growth process and give yourself time.

You will settle in.