Dealing with Homesickness

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One of the toughest challenges that you will face while you are in America at college is homesickness. It can hit you at the most random times and can differ in magnitude depending on the person. Obviously no one person is the same as another and therefore people have differing coping strategies when it comes to homesickness.

From the very beginning of your college career, you are sure to experience some kind of homesickness. Perhaps your homesickness will deal with missing your mother's home cooked meals, hanging out with your friends, or just the comfort of your own home. Although you may become extremely homesick, or even just a little bit homesick, it will definitely get better. There are many ways in which you can deal with homesickness. Here are just a few tips on how you can deal with it:

Spending most of your free time sitting in your room and talking to your friends on Skype or Facebook will definitely not help reduce that homesickness. Obviously it is great to have a catch up with your friends every now and then, but don't spend all of your time locked up in your room. There are so many new and exciting things you can experience and do with your team mates and new friends at college. Try to participate in as many events as possible in order to enjoy your time at college rather than missing your friends and family 24/7.
Once your semester gets under-way with your studies and sports games, that homesickness should naturally reduce. You will realise that when you are so busy, you will have hardly any time to think about how much you miss your friends and family. It is good because you can concentrate on college life and enjoy your time in America.

Another thing that definitely helped me with homesickness (in a weird way), was to embrace different kinds of New Zealand things. What I mean by this is that everyday I would always check the New Zealand Herald website to keep up with what was happening in New Zealand. I also downloaded songs by New Zealand bands to my ipod and put up a New Zealand flag and photos of my friends and family on my bedroom wall. Although you may think that this would make the homesickness worse, it actually had the opposite effect. It made me realise that my family and friends are always there for me, and they aren't going anywhere, so I can just look forward to the next time I see them.

There is not really too much I can tell you about homesickness because every individual person experiences it in different extents and deals with it in their own way. These are just a few tips that will perhaps help you deal and manage that homesickness. I am not telling you that you should stop talking to your friends and family back home, rather I am just saying that you shouldn't be talking to them all the time as you should be making the most of your college experience. Sitting in your room talking to your friends from back home all the time will not make your homesickness better at all. So enjoy every moment, and rather than being sad about being away from your friends and family, be excited for the next time you will see them.

By Mika Deane