T.S. Eliot wisely acknowledged that “Home is where one starts from”. After getting that high school diploma the glamorization of gaining independence blinds us from the fact that we are parting from our loved ones. College truly sheds light on how precious home is to us. The nostalgia that stems from being away from home can be overwhelming and perplexing. You may be thinking, “I thought this was what I wanted” or “I desperately wanted to leave home why am I so depressed now?”. Unless this nostalgia interferes with performance in the classroom or daily activities, it is completely normal. Luckily, there are several strategies to help battle these disheartening feelings.
It is OK to Call Home
Many will say to completely resist the urge to pick up the phone and call your parents or siblings. While being on the phone could potentially worsen the homesickness, it could also provide one with a sense of being at home again. At home we are constantly interacting with our family members. Phones are that source of interaction with our loved ones when we are unable to connect face to face. We also are incredibly fortunate to live in a time where video chat exists. Calling home once a day will provide an ongoing communication with your loved ones.
An Exciting Countdown
For some mysterious reason countdowns are very enticing. On Facebook or Instagram you will always see countdowns for birthdays, weddings, vacations, and other special occasions. Lets face it: we love counting down. So therefore, next time you are bombarded with homesickness, look at the calendar and choose the next date that you will go home. At the end of the day, praise yourself and make it an effort to acknowledge how many more days until you are home again. This is reassuring and motivates you to take it one day at a time so you are not as overwhelmed and agitated.
Read a book, write, work out, get a head start on that paper due next week ,talk on the phone, play a game. Do what you love most and always keep busy. It will make time go by faster than it would by sitting around. Being productive is an immense key to escaping nostalgia while away at college.
Secluding your emotions is detrimental to both your physical and emotional health. It will only result in excessive stress and this will indisputably destroy your immune system and ability to get a good night rest. It is OK to cry. Crying does not characterize you as a weak individual, but rather defines you as a completely normal human being with feelings. Releasing these emotions is crucial to your health and I assure that you will always feel better afterwards.
Talk To Somebody
This unites with the previous tactic of not keeping our emotions trapped inside. Talk to a reliable friend, significant other, advisor, or counselor. Remember that there is always somebody willing to listen.