There are two types of people who move away for college: those who love life from the second the parental unit say a tearful goodbye and those who struggle to adjust. And there’s no shame in that at all.
Often it’s not exactly homesickness, but more a general anxiety about how much has suddenly changed in your life. It’s perfectly normal to crave going home and returning to your normal and old life, but ultimately life does propel onwards, even if you’re not entirely ready. Here are some simple tips to help beat homesickness in college…
Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself
It’s okay to feel homesick. The jump to college is a big one, especially after the world-wind of L.C results and CAO offers. You might also have ended up in a different course, college or county than you had planned for 6 weeks ago. It’s a lot. Allow yourself the time to adjust to the change.
Don't Give In
Stay positive, it will get better. Moving to college and feeling homesick is often the first real test of adulthood that many of us face. It’s so tempting to just want to give into it and head back to the security of home, but really think long and hard about where that will get you in the long-run. You obviously want to be at college if you applied and put in the work. So, realistically it’s not the best idea to pack it all in. That is unless you are pretty sure that you’ve made a huge mistake in picking the course that you did – it happens! In this case make sure that you have a chat with you college ASAP to make to ensure that you’re where you’re supposed to be.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It can be hard to wrap your head around the idea of being your own boss all of a sudden. It’s your responsibility to get yourself up in the morning. You might have to navigate the horror show that is Dublin Bus (to us culchies at least!) and think about what you’re actually going to eat every, single day. Suddenly the thought of not having mammy’s home cooked meal waiting for you feels very bleak. To ease yourself in to the reality of being an adult batch cook your food in advance. Also, M&S do great microwave meals, because…adulting!
Start Building Your New Life
Decorate your new college bedroom so that it starts to reflect you and is more homely instead of a lifeless jail cell. Join societies left, right and centre. It’s so fun to try out something new and interesting. And a hobby will distract you. Set yourself the task of speaking to one new person a day in your course. Start exploring your new surroundings too. The quicker you become familiar with everything, the faster you’ll start to feel more at-ease. And as they always say, fake it until you make it.
College can be such an exciting time when it comes to making friends and although we wouldn’t recommend limiting your new friendship option, try befriend at least one person who is “from up the country” too. It can be so nice to have sometime who relates to the struggles. No offence to those who have the luxury of still living at home, but sometimes you really don’t get the true struggles of dealing with homesickness in college and how lonely in can be initially.
Go Home When You Can
Friday can feel like an awful long way away on a lonely Monday night, but it’s not. And if you feel like you need to go home every weekend, then do. Also if you feel the need to Skype home every evening, do that too. Keep in touch with your friends from home as well, chances are they might be going through the same thing too. It’s good to have your “home” friends and “college” friends.
It’s really important to remember that homesickness is normal. We all have out bouts of loneliness once we move out of home for the first time. Be sure to look forward at all the positive things your college time holds for you. You’ve only just begun!