When I told people I was going all the way to Alabama for college, quite a few of them looked at me like I was crazy.
“Why are you going so far from home?”
“You’re going to miss home and want to come back after a week or two.”
“You’re so brave for going far away without knowing anyone! I could never do that.”
Honestly, I think they are the crazy ones.
I’ve been here for a little over two weeks, and I have absolutely no desire to return to New Hampshire. Nor do I think I ever will while I’m living here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It’s all just a new adventure to me. What those other people see as something that puts them outside their comfort zone, I see as opportunity. Life is boring if you don’t embrace change and challenge yourself constantly.
However, not everyone is the same. A lot of people are not the breakaway type, and tend to get very homesick whenever they go far. Therefore, it’s harder for them to adjust, especially with the transition to college life. So how does one get over their homesickness, or just simply adjust to life in their new home on campus?
There’s plenty of ways. It’s really just so easy.
Get out of your room. Go meet people. College is just one big social scene, with everyone on campus basically within walking distance of one another. No more being stuck in your house in the suburbs, unable to go anywhere because you have no car and all your friends are a town or two away. Staying in your room will probably get old fast anyways. You’re almost guaranteed to meet someone the second you walk out of your dorm. Don’t be afraid to just say hi to random people…believe me, I’ve made many friends here by doing just that.
Take advantage of all the school events, too. Whether it be a sports game, a study group, a “Welcome Week” scavenger hunt, or any kind of party, it’s a new opportunity to meet new people and have fun.
Familiarize yourself with the town. Personalize your space. It’s often the little things that get some people really homesick. Like how well they know their hometown and not the new one they’re in, their best friends back home, little details in their daily routine. So go out, explore your campus. Get lost and find those little hidden niches that become the perfect, quiet spot to study. Find the best restaurants or bars or any random places that you come to love and make you love the place.
Bring pictures and memories with you to add to your dorm, and keep in touch with your friends back home while you go out and make new ones. Decorate your room with your favorite things. For me, all I needed was my world map, some postcards, and my laptop so that I can Skype with friends back home. Technology makes it possible to stay friends with people no matter where and how far you go.
So don’t be afraid to break away from the pack. Even if you are one of those easily homesick, attached kind of people, take a chance and don’t regret it. Life is too short to live it in fear. As Mark Twain said:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.” 🙂