September 1, 2015

Watchcare: Home is Where the Heart Is

No matter how excited you may be about college life, even the most independent woman can find herself experiencing homesickness. Moving away from home for either the first time or another year, adjusting to a college workload and setting up a brand new daily routine can take their toll, and sometimes, all you want to do is crawl into your (non-twin XL) bed with a tub of ice cream at home. A lot of women aren’t able to just head home whenever they feel like it, so when you’re missing home, how do you cope?

What is homesickness?

According to Thurber, “homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home.” Almost all people miss one thing or another when they are away from home. This experience is universal and normal. It doesn’t matter if your feelings are intense or mild, you can still be homesick.

What can you do?

1. Know that what you are going through is normal. Changing routines and being away from what you are used to can be difficult.

2. Get more familiar with your campus and community. Take a walk around campus. Find where all the administration and academic buildings are located. Find your professors offices, the tutoring center, the counseling center, and the recreation center to help work out the stress in a healthy way. 


3. Get involved and find a “home” for you on campus. You’ve already found a home in Alpha Phi. Be sure to take advantage of all the activities your chapter has planned for you.


4. Maintain relationships with family and friends at home. Set a reminder on your phone to call or text someone from home once a week.


5. Talk to other sisters or professionals. Don’t be afraid to let people know how you are feeling. They might have been through the same thing and can lend you a listening ear.


6. Keep your thoughts positive! You can get through this!

How do I know if it’s more than homesickness?

Take note of what your feelings look like: Does the feeling last for long periods of time? Are you still going to class, meetings, etc.? Try to decipher what reactions are normal and not normal for yourself. If you think you need assistance, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Seeking guidance from a professional is not uncommon and they can further asses your feelings and help you move forward.

Don’t forget that feeling homesick is normal and most everyone experiences some loneliness. Make sure that you are also thinking about all the positive things your college career holds for you! Remember, you’ve only just begun the year.

Need some more advice or someone to talk to? The Watchcare Support Hotline is there to help! Call them at 800.756.3124. The Watchcare Support Hotline is staffed 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by licensed and trained individuals. The Watchcare Support Hotline is funded by a generous grant from Alpha Phi Foundation.

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