How to overcome homesickness

Jessica Pellegrino General Assignment Reporter 

The stress of school work, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs makes homesickness start to get real as the leaves change color. Even the most independent students can sometimes feel the weight of homesickness. After all, your home is your support system and an awesome source of comfort. But it can be avoided with just a few simple steps. Homesickness happens to all of us, but you can get past it.

First, evaluate your homesickness. Is it stress induced? It is possible that amidst all of the stress of school, you have projected this stress onto feeling homesick. Because, let’s be real, it’s easier to feel homesick than to accept that you are stressed out. One minute you’re writing three essays, studying for an exam, and swimming in homework.

Then suddenly, you feel homesick, desiring the quietness and stress-free environment of home. It’s okay. Find a quiet spot like the basement of the library or a common room in your building. You need to take a breath and make a list of things you need to complete.

Start with the most challenging items and work from there. You’ll feel accomplished by the end of the list and your stress and homesickness will be alleviated. You need to realize that what you are going through is not only totally normal but actually very common. Just relax and work through it.

So say you’re not stressed. You actually are homesick. That’s okay, we can work through it. Call your mother or whoever you are missing. They will appreciate hearing your voice and their voice will calm your nerves. If you can, Skype or FaceTime your family. Sometimes, seeing a person face to face is just what you need the most.

Care packages are another valid option to cure homesickness. I am an advocate for two-way care packages. Send your loved one a care package of stuff you love. Toss in some Southern apparel, a couple grades you are proud, and a heartfelt letter about how much you miss them. You will feel good about sending it and it’s likely you will get an awesome care package in return for being so thoughtful.

Homesickness isn’t reserved for the first week of your freshman year. If you’re still feeling homesick and you are well into your career at Southern, you may have just not found your place on campus yet. Get involved! If you were an athlete in high school, try joining an intramural sport.

Not only will it give a chance to flex your athletic side, it will give you something to do at night so you don’t have to think about how much you miss home. There are an endless amount of communities for you to join on campus from Greek Life to academic clubs to social clubs. Find your fit and stick with it! Organizations keep you busy and give you a place on campus.

Say all of these things still didn’t work and you are still sad. My last piece of advice is to be sad. Take a day for yourself and be sad. Sometimes the only way to feel better is to let the homesickness run its course.

I promise that you will wake up feeling better the next morning. Homesickness is natural and it happened to everyone at some point or another. You are not alone and these feelings will pass. Remember Owls, keep your head above water and you will be fine.

Photo Credit: Kristina Alexanderson

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