The ins and outs of dorm living: How to deal with homesickness

Shelby DeHaven, ‘Doah Managing Editor
August 20, 2013

'Doah photo by Shelby DeHaven

‘Doah photo by Shelby DeHaven

Homesickness is something that affects a lot of college students, both freshmen and upperclassmen. Being homesick is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is definitely a problem that you do not want to consume you. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to battle the homesick blues.

The first step is to get involved on campus.  There is so much to do on campus that once you find a club or organization based on what you like to do, you will not have any spare time left to miss home.

Another helpful tip is to add a personal touch to your new home away from home. Decorating your dorm room will help you adjust, and help you get over that feeling like you are a guest in a strange place. Pictures of friends, pets and loved ones typically work the best. While some people like to completely cover their walls with pictures, others are content with a simple picture of mom and dad sitting next to their beds. If you need a little bit more of home, do not be afraid to curl up with a blanket or stuffed animal that smells and feels like home.

If all else fails, talk to someone. It does not hurt to call home every once in awhile to check in, just try not to call too much. The goal is to try and find your niche at Shenandoah University. You can also talk to your resident assistant. They are there to help you with any problems and concerns you may have, including homesickness. And, try talking to the new friends you make. There is a good chance that those friends are going through the same feelings of homesickness that you are.

You can always visit the counseling center if you still need someone more to talk to. The counseling center, run by Director Nancy Schulte and her staff, is located in Cooley Hall rooms 301-306. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, you can visit their office in room 301, call at 540-665-4530 or email Schulte at nschulte@su.edu. More information on the counseling center can be found on the Shenandoah University website under Campus Life.

Being away from home, especially for the first time, can be hard. The goal is to get busy and involved on campus in order to not miss home as much. But, remember to call your parents every once in awhile. They are missing you as much as you are them.

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