I am very excited to be at Roanoke this year. I am a transfer student and this is now the furthest away from home I have been. I really like this school and I am starting to make a few friends in my classes, but I miss my hometown. None of my friends from home live around here or go to school here and I am not sure how I can deal with just talking to my parents and siblings over the phone. What can I do to lessen my home sickness? Is there any advice you have to deal with missing home and letting it get me down?
Dear Homesick Holly,
First off, let me welcome you to Roanoke and thank you for sharing your concerns. Being homesick is something that all new students experience in one way or another, so you are not alone in this. Some people tend to simply say “get over it” and move on; however, it may not be that easy for some students. The first piece of advice I have to give you is to embrace the new challenges in front of you.
One of the best cures for homesickness is to get involved and meet as many new faces as possible. Join up with some clubs and organizations on campus and try to attend information meetings. This way you make new friends, keep yourself distracted, and eventually you will begin to feel like this is your home away from home.
Now, another important factor that plays into homesickness is not being able to see your family or friends from home. Well, that’s why we have Skype, isn’t it? Try to set up video chat sessions with your family or friends in an attempt to see them. It is not the same as being in person, but it is a lot more personable than a phone call or text message. Sticking to a schedule or making plans to chat gives you something to look forward to and takes the longing out of being home sick.
Pictures also help. Don’t be afraid to hang up photos of your friends or family in your dorm. Sometimes it just helps to have familiar objects around you. Last, but not least, try to talk to others about it. Some of your new friends, or your roommate, might feel the same way. Open up to someone you trust here on campus and the best bet is they will support you and may even be experiencing the same feelings!
Wishing you the best of luck,
Sue Z. Maroon