Disclaimer: Advice will not work across the board for everyone, even though it can be helpful in gaining perspective on a problem. The following is meant to entertain and inform, but not to be taken as the only solution to the given problem. Talking to a counselor is something that there is no substitute for.


Dear Maggie,


I am a freshman, and this is my first semester away from home. I really like La Roche so far. My classes aren’t too hard, and my roommate and I get along. As much as I like the college atmosphere, I find myself very homesick sometimes. Before I go to bed, I think about my family, my own bed in my room, and even my cat who is always around to cuddle my feet. My hometown is only about two hours away, but I do not have a car on campus, so I don’t get to go home much. I talk to my parents everyday, and they tell me to cheer up and enjoy the experience, even though they miss me very much. I don’t want to talk to my roommate about how I’m feeling because I worry he might think I’m a sissy. What can I do to make myself less homesick?

Sincerely,

Homesick


Dear Homesick,


Being homesick is a rather common. Pyschology Professor Dr. Janet Gates said, ”Believe it or not, most students feel homesick when they are away from home for the first time.  You are definitely not alone in your feelings, and the fact that you have a loving family, and you miss them, makes you a healthy person, not a sissy.  Gates added that it is normal to miss the things that gave you comfort.

She suggests keeping yourself busy. ”Be sure to attend class, and try talking to your classmates between classes, instead of texting high school friends or parents,“ she said. ”As your circle widens, you’ll have new experiences and activities that will make you feel happier and more a part of the community.“    

Involving yourself on campus is another way to ease your homesickness. ”Make an effort to try something that interests you, and you may find a new activity and new friends to share it with.  Go to the Community Ministry office, and sign up for service learning activities,“ Gates said. ”There’s nothing like reaching out to other people to give you a sense of satisfaction and make you feel less lonely.  Your parents will be thrilled to hear about all the new interests you’re developing.“ Essentially, getting involved is key.


According to Gates, getting used to your new environment takes time.


”Above all, don’t punish yourself for feeling homesick.  New experiences are always a little intimidating, but with some effort on your part to reach out, you’ll soon value your role in the La Roche College family,“ she said.