September has come and gone. The excitement of “back to school” is over and you’re falling into a regular routine. You might even have midterms coming up already! If this is your first time living away from home, it’s natural to feel some homesickness, especially when there are fewer distractions around. Even though it might not seem like this feeling will go away, we’re here to assure you, it will! Here are some ways to get you out of the homesick-funk and get on with feeling at home in your new surroundings.
Stay connected with people from back home (but not too connected)
You’re probably used to seeking the support of your parents or siblings back home when you’re feeling down and missing them. While it’s good to seek familial support now and then, it can do more harm than good if you’re calling them every day and forgetting to experience the world around you. You’ll likely end up missing home more since you’re dwelling on old memories instead of making new ones.
It’s important not to isolate yourself when you’re having feelings of homesickness. Isolating yourself will only perpetuate these feelings and, possibly, even worsen them. Keep yourself busy. Get to know your surroundings. Get to know the ways you can get involved on campus. Set up a coffee date with a new friend or head to the gym to improve your physical fitness. Though it may be tempting to stay in your room binge-watching Netflix content, try to force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Create a new routine
Homesickness is unfamiliarity. You’re in a new environment with new people which can be intimidating if you’ve never been away from home before. Creating a new routine for yourself will help bring some of that familiarity back into your life. Get your groceries on Sunday morning. Join a study group on Thursday nights. Do your laundry Friday afternoon. You’ll begin to feel at home soon enough.
Make connections with your school
You’ve heard it before, but getting involved on campus has the added benefit of staving off homesickness. Joining a club, study group, volunteer organization, or intramural team will give you the connections you’re missing from back home. Your classmates and teammates will fill that familial void you’re feeling.
It’s important to remind yourself that the feelings you’re having are, likely, just temporary. It’s still early in the school year and you just need to give yourself the time to settle in. You might not believe it, but many students are feeling the same as you are right now. Just give it time.
It is important to know when homesickness isn’t a temporary feeling. If you are feeling depressed and it is beginning to affect your everyday life, don’t be afraid to access any one of the many support services available to you as a Mount Royal student.