The transition from high school to college is undoubtedly an exciting and new phase. When mentally prepping for this next chapter in my life, I thought of all the possible challenges I could face. While academics were on the forefront of my mind, I anticipated being homesick. For those who are also close to their family and hometown, this may be something you have thought of before as well. During my freshman year, I occasionally felt hit with this feeling as I entered an unfamiliar territory. Although I have built a second home on campus, I still grapple with homesickness every once and a while, especially when my classes get tough. Now as a sophomore, I’ve picked up a few tricks to fend off those homesick blues and I’m eager to share them with anyone who is in the same boat.
The first step in overcoming homesickness is to embrace change. Tufts is a place where it is likely you will discover things you didn’t know about yourself and grow all while having a sense of newfound independence. While these changes can feel overwhelming, they are essential in guiding you through your journey. It may be uncomfortable at times, but everyone goes through it and that alone can be comforting.
Especially during the first year, I felt a sense of pressure to immediately find my group of people, start my classes off strong, join different clubs and get involved on campus all while feeling like my usual self. For many, this is unrealistic. It’s normal to have trouble adjusting to living in a new place with new people. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself that it’s okay to give yourself time.
Often when I feel homesick, it makes me happy to know my family and friends are only a phone call away. While there needs to be balance between learning how to be independent and keeping in touch, don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones. A quick call can provide you with the support you need during those moments.
This is not a difficult thing to do at Tufts once you have settled in. Between my classes, club lacrosse, and working in a lab, I always have something to do. When I feel homesick, it’s nice to feel productive in some way and take my mind off the feeling. By staying engaged in activities you love, you will not only stay busy but also create opportunities to meet new people who may become your college family.
Once I put the time into decorating my dorm to really feel like mine, I became excited to go to my room. It is the place you will sleep in and probably spend a lot of time in so it’s more important than you’d think to make a space that’s comfortable to you. Personally, I love decorating my room with pillows, LED signs, and a cozy rug. It is here that I feel I can unwind and ease my mind.
Remember, homesickness is a temporary feeling and although I still miss my family sometimes, this is just a part of the journey. I’m happy to be in a place that I can call my second home where I can create lasting memories and grow.