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Coping with Homesickness

Student studying in the library

Feeling blue? Others might be too!

Each year thousands of students leave home for the first time to go to college. Most are filled with the excitement of the college environment and their newfound independence. Sometimes the excitement becomes over-shadowed by feelings of homesickness and insecurity. Homesickness is one of the most common adjustment problems experienced by students, particularly new students.

Here are a few tips to help you cope with homesickness:

  • Acknowledge that you are feeling homesick. It is a very natural and common response for students who leave home.
  • Remember that many other students are sharing similar feelings, even though they may not tell you about it.
  • Talk with an older sibling, friend, or student who has gone away from home.
  • Put up some photos of home, family, and friends on your bulletin boards. Mix the photos with photos of your favorite campus buildings, activities, or events and new friends you have made at Clarke.
  • Get to know the Clarke campus and the surrounding Dubuque community. Take a friend and explore interesting things to do and places to see. Share what you have learned with family and friends back home.
  • Remember to get enough food and sleep. Proper rest and nutrition are important to emotional as well as physical well being.  Consider getting more exercise by using the Kehl Center.
  • Seek some involvement in a student organizations, activities, or intramurals. If you are living on campus, your residence hall is often a good place to get involved.
  • Keep in touch with the people back home but place a limit on telephone usage. Tell or write to them about your activities and experiences.
  • Set up e-mail connections with friends at other colleges and universities. Share your experiences and activities with them.
  • Plan a date to go home and make arrangements. This helps to curtail impulsive home visits and helps ease the adjustment process.
  • Give yourself time to adjust. Overcoming homesickness is a gradual process for most. If your homesickness persists or interferes with the academic performance or social relationships, consider talking with a counselor in the Counseling Center.