This article contains the information on How to Deal with Homesickness as a freshman.
Who wouldn’t miss waking up to having an already prepared breakfast or sleeping till as long as your body desires, sneaking up to the refrigerator to get yourself an extra helping of that yummy Ice cream your Mom warned you not to take unsupervised. The truth is over Eighty percent of freshmen are regularly overwhelmed with homesickness from the first week of school up to the fifth or sixth week, while also students of Tertiary institutions are more likely to feel homesick than students in the Secondary Institutions.
However, most students who just gained admission into the Tertiary Institutions always end up choosing Universities that is close or at reasonable transportable distance so as to enable them visit home once an opportunity surfaced while others chose Institutions far from home for mainly the sole aim of their freedom from the seemingly overbearing eyes of their parents, but it will interest you to find out that even the freedom hungry students will also at some point miss that overbearing and Hawk-like protection given to them by their parents.
This was exactly my case. I was very excited when I got admission to study away from my State of residence because I was choked by my father’s over-protectiveness . I couldn’t wait to leave home but the funny part of the whole thing was that my homesickness started right in the bus. I wept but tried to cover up. I missed my mother so badly and when I finally settled in , I spoke to her everyday to fill that space.
Let us not also forget the category of students who travel Internationally to study, their chances of getting homesick is likely far more higher than that of the rest of the students because they feel like strangers in another mans land except if maybe they have a relative there who can prepare to be their guardian, even with the presence of a guardian, nothing can take away the fact that they are sure to miss home anytime soon.
The first year away from home as a Freshman is all so challenging and even depressing but there are various tips and ways to Curb that overwhelming Homesickness.
Below are ways of dealing with homesickness as a freshman.
1. SEE THE POSSIBILITIES
There over a hundred and one things you couldn’t possibly have achieved if you were to be at home that you have actualized now in school. Don’t forget that over a million individuals will do anything whatsoever just to get to the position you have found yourself in. A lot of people have been trying to get into that school as well as study that course you are currently undertaking. So for starters you should start thanking the universe for working out in your favour, remember that there is a lot to see, a lot to learn and a lot to experience. This should leave you thrilled to begin your journey.
2. TRY OUT HEALTHY NEW THINGS
Apart from focusing on your Academics you can also pick up a new hobby like singing, song writing, poetry, reading fictional books, craft work and the list goes on, to lighten up your mood and expand your creativity. It doesn’t compulsorily have to be a hobby though even a routine activity can help as well, such as swimming, routine hogging, scheduled gyming. Though you should plan out when to indulge yourself in this activities so as to also enable that it doesn’t stand in your way with your Academics.
So when next that overwhelming urge of missing home hits you, you can pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read and start doing justice to it.
3. FOLLOW A LITTLE BIT OF HOME SCHEDULE
At times also, keeping yourself in tune as to what activity is going on presently in your home can also help with your homesickness. It makes you feel as if you are currently present with them while it’s going on. For example, if dinner is always by eight pm in your house, you can as well still keep up with that time even in school to always have your dinner. No matter how absent you are, by doing this you will feel closer to home.
4. EXPLORE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
One of the main reasons we feel homesick is as a result of being in unfamiliar surroundings, so it’s a great idea to set aside some time to explore your new surroundings so you’ll feel more at home.
Go for walks, do some sightseeing, volunteer with the local community or just get to grips with what’s available on your uni campus. You’re only around for a few years, so now’s the time to make the most of it. Often, some students who didn’t do this always regret in the end.They feel left out and discussions come up. This doesn’t only help you overcome homesickness, it is also helpful when there is an emergency.
5. FOCUS ON YOUR ACADEMICS
Don’t get too distracted thinking about home and all its comfort, remember you are in school for a reason and not to mope around. As a freshman your first year is when you have to work really hard to ace your subjects in your major, so you need to pick up at a very hard and fast pace. Pay regular and keen attention at classes and contribute your skills and knowledge and expertise to both individual and team projects. In no time you will soar academically and gain the recognition of both your colleagues and lecturers, remember that if you do well that same family you’re missing will be celebrating your success at the end.
6. JOIN A SOCIETAL ASSOCIATION
Involve yourself in a team or an association that shares common interests and goals as you. It has to be an association that respects social and behavioral values, you can associate with groups as little as even a study group that meets at scheduled days and time to read and share information based on whatever they deem necessary.
For example, you can join community development associations, non governmental organisations(NGOs) and even an environmental green friendly group, while you can join Academic clubs also like your faculty and departmental clubs that vary from one faculty to another in respect to their dads. For social clubs and associations we have a variety like chess clubs to dance crews and even drama and play associations. The Religious groups are not left out.
Being in the company of friends has also proven to be a great remedy to overcoming the burdens of homesickness. Surround yourself with people you can trust and feel comfortable talking to. Making new friends and meeting new people is an excitement that shouldn’t be overlooked. Also, going out for either partying or even an evening of relaxation at a social spot, this can range from school activities like dinner parties to sporting competitions and even faculty events down to parties, clubs and so on.
Try checking out new places and restaurants with your friends, have a favorite spot where you can come to have fun once a while and to unwind from all the stress and pressure. With the right choice of friends you can not go wrong in school and even in life as a whole. She, surround yourself with people who you trust, in that way you will be in a home away from home and if you’re an international student, there is a lot more excitement in store for you in the sense that you have to do some exploring about that country right from its history down to its culture and civilization as well as its tasty Cuisines, street foods, recreational places and even public holidays. Involving in this lot will have you feeling good and you won’t have to miss home so much after all.
8. SEE A COUNSELLOR/THERAPIST
Homesickness that is not properly dealt with at times can lead to depression so it is advisable to see a counsellor. He/she will further go on to deal with your challenges and proffer help to assist you and handle the depressions you’re experiencing in a proper and effective manner.
9. GET A JOB
Having a means at which you raise income for yourself is another way you can cope with happy because asides from it being a good way to distract yourself it also provides a means of earning cash. Now, it is best advisable to take up a part time job because a full time job is most likely to distract you from your Academics and even make you digress from the main purpose of why you’re in school.
Even a side hustle based on a skill you’re good at, like hairdressing, fashion designing, sales running and many more is also encouraged because most of your clients will be students like you who also understands the school system, so that way you are in control of your earning means and also in check with your academics, money generated by you will make you feel less dependent and more confident and comfortable in your current learning environment knowing fully well that you can’t get such clients and Market flow if you were still to be at home.
10. TAKE A VALUABLE ITEM TO SCHOOL
This is a sure way to deal with homesickness. For a student to remain at home, taking an item to school will work the magic. While I was leaving for school, I went with a my mum’s favorite books, my kid brothers key holder etc. I cherished those items and guarded them with jealousy because they connected me to the house each time I felt homesick.
11. RESIST THE URGE TO FOLLOW DAILY ACTIVITIES OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Sometimes, homesickness can be augmented by continuously checking on what was left behind and what is being done in your absence. Staying off the social media accounts of family and friends for a while until you start to enjoy college more. This can be of great help.
12. TRUST THE PROCESS
Giving yourself time also to adapt to changes is advisable. Do not rush things because you may develop problems even as much as them becoming health related problems. Time is one factor that ensures life is balanced at some point so believe me when I say you will get a hang of things soon enough and won’t have to worry so much about home as you used to.
We as human beings and generally living things have the quality of adaptation so in no time soon you will find yourself as a part of the school system and will even become comfortable also at school and also recognize yourself as an individual because you will discover that being away from home and also being on your own is a stepping stone to becoming an independent adult.
13. DON’T ALLOW FREQUENT VISITS FROM HOME
While visiting from both ends is a good way to deal with homesickness, try not to allow frequent visits from those at home, especially during the first year of college. This is to allow you the student to begin developing a healthy level of independence and autonomy so that you can step into adulthood. The visits can be limited to once or twice per semester.
This is possible for those whose schools are not far from home. For International students, this may not be possible.
For someone like me who studied far from home, the only time I set eyes on people from home was once, during my matriculation. This helped me to cope just fine.
14. KEEP REGULAR COMMUNICATION
Remember to call your family members and friends frequently to check up on them and also fill them up on your developments in school. Also, don’t forget to call at a convenient time so as to ensure that you are not interrupted during family chat time, you can as well video call or face time the whole family when you feel like speaking to more than one family member.
Also you should find convenient and relevant days for you go on Visits if your school is far away from home and if your school close by, try visiting at a convenient time.Convenience and relevance is a key factor because you should know how to prioritize your time. For example, you can’t be visiting home when you know exams are around the corner and you have to be present at revision lectures, or even marking of attendance sheets because distractions are not to be required at that period in time.
Homesickness can be very overwhelming and can get out of hand if not properly handled. Sometimes, it can lead to depression. Homesickness is not peculiar to certain people and age alone. Even adults can be homesick too. It’s not only peculiar to students, those going in job transfers are likely to feel homesick too.
Are you currently battling with homesickness or you know someone who is facing this challenge, why not share this article with them? It will be of a great help to them. Homesickness is normal, it’s not a disorder. If I who sees myself as a strong person could feel homesick, then, anyone can .
How did I overcome mine?
I told myself it was a normal phase for everyone because a day shall come when you’ll leave your loved ones for reasons ranging from schooling, working, marriage, etc.
I also kept in constant communication with my mum especially. Hearing from her everyday made me feel I was still home. This continued for almost 6 months. As time went on, I could stay without hearing from her for days. This is to show that what works for me may not work for you.
I got involved with extracurricular activities, I was active in religious activities. It got me busy and distracted from thinking about home.
I applied most of what is in this article and it really helped me to deal with homesickness effectively and I was able to stay away from home for 4 years out of the 5 years I spent in school as a student in the University. I hope this helps you too.