10 Simple Ways to Heal Homesickness

Homesickness is a very real thing.  I struggled with it quite a bit my first year.  It happens to everybody, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody struggles with the same aspects of it. People miss parents, siblings (Ugh I love my little brother SO much), pets, food, beds, and really anything that makes up a home.  Sometimes it’s that mixed with the sudden need to re-make friends and re-introduce yourself to the new world that surrounds you. Regardless, there are lots of little ways to get rid of those homesick blues.

  1. Make your room feel like home


Whether you have a whole room, or a third of a room to work with, take some time to make your space comfortable. Find little ways to remind yourself of those people in your life with pictures! And don’t forget to add posters or pictures of your favorite things, too! I’m also the kind of person who needs 5,000 blankets so I made sure to bring lots of comfy blankets back to school with me after I realized that one wasn’t enough. Moral of the story: do what you need to do to feel good in your room

2. Call Home


It might sound crazy, but contacting someone from home multiple times a day can help. So FaceTime your parent (I do it every other night), text your sibling, snapchat your BFF, and never hesitate to ask someone to send you pictures of your favorite pet too! Just don’t let it get to the point where you aren’t also experiencing new things like…getting involved in student orgs!

3. Get Involved


This is your chance to explore your passions and meet people who are doing the same thing! From religious organizations, to hobby-related organizations, to organizations for a cause, there’s something for everyone. If one of those mass e-mails seems appealing to you, respond and attend the meeting. No one will ever judge you for attending a meeting by yourself. And if the org is not for you and you don’t want to go back, there’s no penalty for that either. Some of my best friends have come from organizations and I think a lot of other people can say the same.

4. Reach Out to the People On Your Floor 


During my first semester I spent most of my social time playing Settlers of Catan and watching movies with a group of about 14 people on my floor.  Fast-forward two years and I still hang out with them on a regular basis. I even live with four of them! I’m so glad I took the time to get to know the people on my floor, because they are my forever friends. You might not find your best friends in your residence hall, though, and that’s okay! Making friends is different for everybody. But it’s worth a shot, right?

5. Exercise


Find a way to get those endorphins up! Going to the Rec Center every morning saved me from a LOT of emotional breakdowns because it was a good way to get that anxiety out. One of my favorite quotes is “Today I will love myself enough to exercise” because it reminds me that I exercise because I appreciate my body and it motivates me to go work out even when I really don’t feel like it. So wether it’s going on a run, or shamelessly doing Hip-Hop Abs with Shaun T in your room, take some time to exercise. You’ll be glad you did!

6. Find a Way to Spend Time With Yourself


One of the best ways to deal with emotional problems is to get in touch with yourself. Consider trying meditation or go on a walk by the river. Journaling is a great way to map out your feelings as well and it also helps to relieve your brain from negative thoughts when you get them out and on paper. Get to know yourself because in the end, you deserve to be best friends with yourself.

7. Take Time to be Sad


If Inside Out taught me anything, it’s that sadness is a necessary emotion.  If you’re feeling down, take some time to feel it out.  With a little TLC it will pass and you can then move on to feeling happier. Of course if you just can’t shake it, there will also be several resources to help you do so.

8. Do One Thing to Make You Happy Every Day


Find something that makes you happy. For me, that’s coloring for a little bit to clear my head. For others it might be doing a dance to your guilty pleasure song. You might not always have a lot of time, but even five minutes can make a difference! Take that time to treat yo’ self. It’ll help you be productive in the long run.

9. Explore the City to Find Your Spot


What’s home without a hangout spot? Explore the city and find that coffee house that gives you the focus you need to write that big paper. Find that restaurant that you eat at when you need to treat yourself. And always, ALWAYS find a desert joint to enjoy with your friends.Knowing where your favorite places are will really give you a sense of belonging.

10.  Invite Your friends and Family to Visit


Going home is great, but sometimes it makes it hard to return to campus. So ask them to come to you sometimes! You’ll have a blast showing off your room and taking them to your favorite places in town. They will be happy to see how life is going for you too! Especially family that might really miss you too!


Do you have any tips or tricks? Feel free to comment with your own ideas! Don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to about homesickness too! (naomi-cochran@uiowa.edu)


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