If this is your first semester living in a college dorm, then chances are you will probably experience some homesickness at some point. It might not be as soon as you move away from home, but I think everyone gets homesick by the end of the first month. Moving to college is a huge change, and feeling homesick can make it ever harder, but I’m here to tell you that it will get better.
When I was little, I was that kid who always wanted to go home in the middle of a sleepover because I was so scared to stay away from home. I didn’t actually spend the night anywhere until sixth grade when my basketball coach had a sleepover at her house. I guess I was more afraid that my teammates would make fun of me than I was of actually spending the night. After that, it never bothered me to stay at a friend’s house or go on trips out of town with my school, but I felt a lot of anxiety about living on campus my freshman year.
I really wanted to live on campus in college, but my parents really didn’t want me to leave. LMU is only about a 50 minute drive from my house, so I could have commuted, but after finding out that I was going to receive enough scholarship money to pay for a dorm on campus, there was really no reason to commute. It would have cost me more money in gas and taken almost two hours a day driving. I was extremely nervous about moving away from home, but I knew that it would be worth it in the end. I wanted to get the “full college experience”. In the end, my parents couldn’t refuse to let me move to LMU.
I moved into my dorm the weekend before classes started. Freshman students at LMU participate in “New Student Survival Weekend.” Basically, all the freshmen move in the weekend before classes start and participate in all kinds of presentations and activities to prepare them for life on campus. We got a chance to do the ropes course and climb the outdoor rock wall, as well as learning about campus safety tips and good study habits. This was great for me because I met a lot of people that I am still friends with today, and it helps make the transition into college life a little less scary.
My first night at LMU was really busy, but I became homesick really quickly. I just kept thinking, “What am I doing here?” I lived in an apartment style dorm, so I had five roommates, but they all seemed to be so happy to be living away from home. I never heard them talking about how they missed being at home, so I thought that I was the only one who was homesick. I called my parents every night, but after classes started and I got myself settled into a routine, things got a lot better. I didn’t feel homesick anymore, and I started to enjoy myself.
The point of that story is that if you are feeling homesick, I promise you are not the only one. Everybody goes through it. Here are my suggestions for if you ever start feeling homesick:
~Pop in a funny movie. Laughter really is the best medicine!
~Find some friends to hang out with. Having fun will definitely take your mind off of it!
~Join a new club. Finding people who share the same interests or hobbies as you will make you happy AND keep you occupied. Plus, it looks great on a resume!
~Just call your parents, brother, sister, grandparents, etc. You might think that it will make you feel worse, but talking to someone that you love will make you feel better. They probably will have a lot of encouragement to give you because they want to see you succeed.
~Clean something. Okay, I know that’s really weird, but whenever I’m in a bad mood, I clean things. It works.
There are so many fun opportunities at LMU, and you should definitely try to enjoy your four years in college, because they will fly by. I don’t regret living on campus at all. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Commuting is a good option for those who live close, but I have met so many amazing people that I wouldn’t have met if I had decided to commute.
College is a great experience, and living on campus is fun. If you have any questions, feel free to email me! Follow my blog, and check back soon for my next post about my trip with the education department to Cherokee, North Carolina!