Family 411 - Dealing with College Homesickness

Family 411 - Dealing with College Homesickness

It's exciting for teenagers to start their college career, but even the most independent freshmen may find it tough to adjust to a new routine.

Not only that, but many will face homesickness.

Siouxland News Reporter Lu Ann Stoia has tips for your students to cope, in this edition of the Siouxland News “Family 411.”

Students cheer for freshmen arriving at their dormitory for the first time, but it's an event that can be rough on the whole family.

“Oh goodness,” said Tracey Goodman, a mother of a freshman. “Lots of worrying.”

Feeling homesick is part of learning to live a new life.

It's normal, though, missing the familiar and the comfortable.

“Probably the food,” said Grant Goodman, a freshman student. “Probably not as much fried chicken the same way here as it is at home.”

Counselors say the most important step in overcoming homesickness is realizing there isn't anything wrong with you.

“The homesickness might not set in until days or weeks later,” said Matt Couch, a Student Activities Director. “There is so much excitement at the start of the academic year.”

Opening up to new friends can feel awkward, too, so you should look for common ground.

It’s a good idea to stay connected to home, but not too connected.

A lot of students don’t just take the essentials to college, they bring some mementos as well.

“Their favorite pillow, their favorite comforter,” said Tom Dunn, a father of a freshman student. “Anything like that.”

Moving in with people you don't know can be stressful, but never forget to look at it as an opportunity.

“Just having these friends in the dorm, and everything was amazing,” said Roslyn Rathbom, a junior student. “They became my family.”

The number one piece of advice to fit in on campus? Get involved.

While some parents worry students may take on too much as they get adjusted to classes, the experts say look for new experiences.

“It is absolutely true that the more involved you are, the more organized you are,” said Couch. “Our involved students become more disciplined when it comes to prioritizing studying.”

Students tell us they sometimes have bouts of loneliness at school, but they say it's important to focus on the positive.

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