All people deal with separation issues differently. You may have been one of those individuals who left for camp when you were younger, waived goodbye to your folks, and were on your way to archery class without a thought. On the other hand, you may have been left with a feeling of sadness about being away from familiar surroundings, friends and family.
Did you see the movie Pleasantville? (A recommended rental on your next trip to the video store.) It is about 2 young people who are sucked into a 1950s television sitcom, who find that they have assumed the identities of 2 teenagers in a family that resembles that of “Father Knows Best” or “Leave It to Beaver”. That one was for you, June Cleaver!
Going away to college is much like the experience of being sucked into a television sitcom, and initially this may not be real pleasant. The transition to college for some can be hard, but it can be managed. The good news is that in most cases, homesickness passes with time, as individuals become more comfortable with their new surroundings.
Feelings of homesickness will vary from person to person. Sometimes, individuals experience it right away, and sometimes it happens two to three weeks into the semester after things quiet down and the regular routine of college life settles in. Some individuals never experience homesickness at all.
Homesickness in many ways is a grieving process. It can result in feelings of sadness, or perhaps anger. If you experience it you might want to socially isolate yourself and not get involved. Although unusual, sometimes homesickness can lead to serious depression, and if this happens you should speak to a Counselor at your campus counseling center, who will be able to work with you to sort these issues through. Your Resident Assistant can help you with making an appointment, and will most likely be interested in walking you down to the Counseling Center for your first visit.
So, if you’re feeling homesick, what can you do?
• Understand that it is normal to feel blue, and you are probably not the only one feeling this way.
• Talk to someone about how you are feeling…be it your roommate, your family, a friend from home. Keeping those feelings hidden inside will probably not help.
• Be sure to tell your Resident Assistant if you are feeling homesick. R.A.s receive a lot of training prior to starting their job, and they can probably help you or get you to someone trained to help you if needed.
• If you are feeling really depressed, you should see a campus counselor, and your R.A can help you make this contact.
• Think about how you went about making friends and connections in high school. You’ve made connections before and you can do it again.
• Because you are blue, you may not want to be social with other individuals. Do not socially isolate yourself. Work to make connections with other individuals on campus, other students, administrators, and professors.
• Participate in floor and campus events and activities, it will help you make connections with other people, that will help you transition to your new lifestyle.
• College is stressful, so do things to help you manage your stress. Eat right, make time to relax, and get plenty of physical exercise, which can help enhance your mood.
• If your are blue watch your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and it may make you feel even sadder.
• Get involved in campus life. Think about your past interests and pursue those in college, or consider trying new things that you’ve been interested in before. The Student Activities office on campus has a listing of all the clubs and organizations that are functioning on your campus. After you do your research, get involved with a group.
• Think about applying for a job. If you have work-study go to the financial aid office and get a listing of open positions…and if you do not have work-study apply at other campus offices that hire students who do not have work-study. Administrators and staff who work in offices typically end up serving as a support system for students who work in their offices…this is a great connection to make.
• Tour the campus with another student, or perhaps your Resident Assistant. Familiarity with your surroundings will help you feel more in control, so take the time to get to know the campus, and how to get around on it.
• Get out into the community where your university is located. Learn about the fun things that your community has to offer and participate in them. Learn the public transportation system, so you know how to get around.
If you experience homesickness one of the most important things to remember is that with time it will probably pass as you form connections and go through the process of adjusting to your new life on campus. So if you experience it, hang in there for a while and do the things that will help you get through your homesickness. Remember that if you give it time to pass, it most likely will!
This is a “ready to print” article from Reslife.Net.