As a military brat and out-of-state student, I’ve had my
fair share of homesickness. Much of my life has been learning to make a home in
a new place. Below are some ways I’ve discovered to cure homesickness and feel
at home at college.
1. Don’t go
home the first weekend.
At Berry, there’s a big emphasis on keeping
students on campus the first weekend. It’s packed full of events and
activities. But still—don’t go home that weekend. This is the beginning of your
college career, and it’s very easy to make new habits. A lot of students who go
home that first weekend end up going home every weekend, and this will keep you
from feeling at home at school.
2. Don’t go
home frequently throughout the first or second semester.
Same as the above, a bit. But I’d like to
add that during the first and second semester, every time you go home or see
your old family/friends, it will hurt. It will trigger that homesickness again.
Better to enjoy Berry, strengthen your connections with your new friends, and
keep putting down roots where you’re at.
bits of home with you.
Take special items with you to school.
Pictures of friends, souvenirs and mementos, letters, favorite books and
stuffed animals are all good things to bring. I have a wall of corkboard near
my desk where I pin up some of my favorite letters and postcards, so whenever I
get discouraged I can go read some lines from a loved one.
things that you like about Berry every day.
Discovery is a big part of making a place
your own. Find the nooks that you love at Berry or in Rome, and make those your
places. For me, there’s a place by the Kilpatrick Commons' waterfall that I like
to go to write essays. Or a local coffee shop in Rome where I like to do my
reading. By finding these new places, you not only challenge yourself to focus
away from nostalgia, you also can appreciate the good things about your new
friends and connections.
Don’t hole up in your room and mope. Go to
dinner with acquaintances and work at becoming friends. If you’re religious,
find somewhere you can connect and start going regularly. Volunteer, work on
campus, talk to people outside of class. The more people you know, recognize, and
invest in, the less time you’ll have to feel friendless and alone.
Before you know it, Berry will be your new home! By now, even my mom says "your home" when she means Berry.