Twinkle lights hang below your lofted bed, posters of your favorite bands cover the walls and your roommate-turned-BFF sits across from you … Your dorm room is everything you dreamed it would be, so why doesn’t it feel like home?
Almost everyone feels homesick at some point. It’s totally normal, especially when you consider how long you’ve relied on the comfort of being at home. It’s hard not to find yourself stuck in a rut, hopelessly waiting for your parents to come pick you up and take you home for the weekend. But is going home always the best idea? Probably not. You’ll end up missing out on so many transformative experiences that you may not be able to get back.
Homesickness is a looming feeling that can really put a damper on your college experience. But the great part is, you get to create your next four years on campus. There are pressures of creating the stereotypical college experience but instead, create a collegiate lifestyle that makes you comfortable.
There are plenty of ways to cope with homesickness. The key is to find the coping mechanisms that work for you and hope that eventually they will lead to overcoming the looming feeling all together.
Do: Go home. It’s okay to go home for a weekend here and there, especially if you live within a couple hours. Take the weekend, reacquaint yourself with your pets, sleep in the comfort of your own bed, but then get ready to go back to school and enjoy yourself.
Don’t: Transfer. Professional writing senior, Emily Cervone, recalls the time she considered it: “I almost transferred from MSU my freshman year because I was so overwhelmed. But once I got to have my car on campus sophomore year, it made it easier to come home and see my family often. I like to come home every other weekend, that way I don’t feel like I’m missing out on either sides of the spectrum.” You came to MSU for a reason, remember that reason and embrace it! You don’t want to miss out on all of the Spartan traditions.
Do: Talk about it. There are professionals on campus that can talk you through your emotions and help you understand what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid to talk to your roommate or friends about it too; they may be feeling the same way. It’s always comforting to know you’re not alone in your feelings.
Don’t: Sulk. The worst thing to do is sit in your dorm/apartment/house and allow yourself to be upset. Education major Taylor Clingaman suggests participating in floor activities and anything you can to make friends. “Even just a couple good friends really helps a lot when you’re feeling uncomfortable,” says Clingaman. Make an effort to join on-campus clubs and organizations. Who knows? You may find your Spartan home away from home.
If you’re feeling an unbearable degree of homesickness or you just want to talk it out, you may benefit from a visit to the MSU Counseling Center on the second floor of the Student Services building.