Ways to overcome homesickness easily

by Aaliyah Alexander, Opinion Editor

“Leaving the nest” is a big deal in our society. 

In a way, it’s a rite of passage — a time where parents or guardians get to see the little child they cared for spread their wings and venture into the unknown. 

Not only is leaving home for the first time difficult for our loved ones, it can take a toll on us because many of us have never been away from home for more than two weeks. 

As someone who left her hometown in Mississippi at the ripe age of 18 and moved to California to attend college, I know how it feels to be away from the only sense of security you’ve had growing up. 

I don’t have the luxury of going home on the weekends to a home-cooked meal or seeing buddies from high school in my college classes for a sense of familiarity. Instead, I had to start from scratch and create a new home while growing into my independence. 

After two years away from home, I can safely say I’ve learned a lot about overcoming the urge to catch a flight back home at the first sign of trouble.

If you’re anything like me, change is your best ally, so if you’re having a difficult time with overcoming homesickness, try implementing these few things: 

Surround yourself with pictures.

Pictures of loved ones to hang around your dorm room is a great way to be reminded of them while you’re away at college.

Take the time to develop some photos to frame or order a polaroid printer to make a polaroid wall. 

Whatever you do, don’t hold back because I promise the more the merrier. 

Cry (no, seriously. Let it all out). 

In an interview, Conscious-Living influencer Radhi Devlukia Shetty shared her experience with leaving her family in England after marrying former monk, author and speaker Jay Shetty.

One thing she said helped get her through the transition of moving to New York City was crying.

“I miss my mom… let me just cry about it… I don’t want to wallow in it, but I definitely think releasing emotion in whatever your body needs to…is so healthy,” Shetty said. “And when you cry, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re really sad, it just means you have an emotion you want to release out of your body.”  

How many times have you felt great after a good cry? If you’re feeling the need to let it out, then by all means let it out!

Spend time with your new college buddies. 

Doing something fun with new acquaintances you’ve made helps take your mind off home. 

Especially if you’re an out-of-state student, exploring your new home gives you the opportunity to find spots to make your own — slowly creating your new reality and that “home-away-from-home” feeling. 

FaceTime your family. 

We live in a wonderful time where seeing family is just a click away. 

Just a few years ago, students had to go to college without the luxury of a smartphone capable of reaching loved ones, so take advantage of this amazing tool and FaceTime your family. 

Create a routine. 

Since classes are in session, this step is easier —  classes, work and other activities will inevitably take up most of your day. 

When you have places to be and people to see, the thought of missing home rarely comes up because you’re too busy living your life.  

Going off to college and having our coming-of-age “main character” moment is something many of us have been dreaming of since we can remember, so don’t let homesickness take up too much of your mental space. 

Welcome all the feelings that come with leaving home, keeping in mind that it’ll soon pass. 

Author John Green said it best in his book “Paper Towns,” “It is so hard to leave — until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

Aaliyah Alexander is a junior studying journalism and media studies. Follow her on Twitter @aaliyahdanyell.

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