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How to Cope with Homesickness at College

Although going away to college can be an exciting adventure, you're bound to feel some homesick as you adjust to your new surroundings. With the tips below, you can help keep those feelings away and find a balance between feeling connected to your old home life and enjoying your new school.

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By Jessica Lyons

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Hang up Photos of Family and Friends

Whether you're living on campus or in an off-campus apartment, decorate your living space with pictures of your family and friends. When you start to miss home, you can take a look around and be comforted by their smiling faces.

Talk to Loved Ones on a Regular Basis

Your first year of college can feel very overwhelming as you get used to the workload and more advanced coursework. But never get so busy that you don't have time for a quick phone call back home to say hi and catch up. You'll feel better after talking to your family and they'll surely feel better to hear that you're doing well.

Make New Friends

One of the best ways to forget about how much you miss home is to start meeting new people so that your campus will begin to feel like home, too. Take the initiative to strike up a conversation with classmates or join some campus organizations. You'll definitely enjoy college more if you have friends to share the experience with.

Plan a Visit

You might not want to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to go home again. See if you can plan a weekend visit before then. If you go to school too far away to make a weekend trip, ask your parents if they could take some time off from work to come visit you instead. At least you'd get to see your parents and get a taste of family life again.

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Look on the Bright Side

When you're upset about missing home, it's easy to dwell on that, which could end up distracting you so much that it negatively impacts your ability to concentrate and get your homework done. Before things get to that point, try to focus on some of the positives. Think about your exciting studies, how well you're doing so far and the fact that you're making it on your own. Seeing the glass as half full is bound to make a positive difference in your attitude.

Talk to a Counselor

If your homesickness is extreme and begins to cause depression, you might want to talk to a counselor. Many campuses offer mental health services for students, and there's nothing wrong with admitting that you need to talk to someone. If you don't want to talk to your friends or family members about how you're feeling, a school mental health counselor could provide a caring ear and might be able to give you some advice on how to get over your homesickness.

Remember That You're Not Gone Forever

While you might have gone away to college and may even eventually find a job outside of your hometown, it doesn't mean that you're never going to see your family again. So when you start to miss your family so much you wonder if leaving home was the right decision, just remind yourself that you'll definitely see your family again.

Staying in touch is an important part of keeping homesickness at bay. Check out some of the best ways to keep in touch with friends at different schools.

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