In the majority of my three years in college, I have been totally fine with living about four hours away from my family. College is so much fun and I am usually so busy that being away from my family is alright. Sometimes, however, I have a really hard time being away. Homesickness sets in.
In 2016 I lost 3 family members, and it was very hard not being able to be home with my family during those times. Not only that, but two of my sisters have had children in the past few months, again making me wish that I could be home with them. Besides that, there are always those moments when you just want to be home with your family. If you’re an out of state student, or just busy, it isn’t always logical to run home every time you feel down. Here are my tips for dealing with homesickness when you just want to be home.
- Do something that comforts you. Even in a strange place with people you’ve only known for a few months or years, it can be possible to find those things that make you feel comforted. For me, that means reading my favorite books (Harry Potter usually), and curling up under a big blanket with coffee or hot cocoa. You know what makes you feel better, so take some time and take care of yourself.
- Call (or skype) home. Whether it’s your parents or grandparents or just a friend, talking to a familiar voice can make you feel better. Plus, it will remind you that your connections are still strong. I usually call my mom first, because she always knows what to say to make me feel better. My best friend from home is also a great comfort when I’m feeling disconnected.
- Cook a recipe that reminds you of home. Every family has those recipes that just make you feel like you’re at the kitchen table. If you forget the recipe, call home and talk to your parents while you make it so you can both feel closer to them and make sure it turns out well! My favorite thing to cook when I feel far from home is meatloaf. My step-dad taught me how to make it, and every time I make it I think of him and all the times we had it as a family!
- Make plans with your college friends. If you really can’t shake your homesickness, try making plans with your friends in your college town. Remembering what great friends you have at school makes it a bit easier to be away from the ones you left at home! You can have more than just a few friends, so don’t feel like making new friends will lose you your old ones.
- Write a letter (or two). Sit down and write a letter to a family member or friend that you have been feeling distanced from. Tell them about what’s happening in your life and how much you love them. It will be so much fun when they receive this hand-written note! Plus, you might be surprised when you get a letter back!
- Ask someone to come visit. If you can’t make it home for the weekend, ask a friend or family member to come visit! Even if they can only come for a little while, it might make you feel better. Last year I was having a really hard time being away and my mom drove the four hours (one-way!) just to take me out to lunch and hang out with me for 5 hours. It was one of the nicest gestures anyone has ever done for me.
- If all else fails, find a way to get home. Almost all things can be re-arranged, take the time to go home for a day or two. Your mental health comes before anything else, so make sure to take care of yourself.
Battling homesickness can be tough. For some people who live a plane ride away from family, a visit just isn’t possible sometimes. It’s so important to remember that your friends and family love you. You are an important part of their lives, even when you’re far away.
How do you fight your homesickness? Have you used any of these tips before? Let me know in the comments below!