Collegebound Network

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Freedom! Adventure! Excitement! Homesickness!?

When the reality of being away from home finally hits a couple of weeks into your first semester, excitement may make way for a gnawing emotion deep down in your gut -- homesickness.

Sure, college means parties and privacy, but you'll also have to tackle laundry and late-night loneliness. See how these college students coped with their "no place like home" blues:

"I was so homesick my first month away at college mostly because I was feeling a bit of culture shock -- I'm from the west coast and I was going to school in the east. I didn't really click with the people there right away, and I missed my friends from home. I'm also really close with my mom and missed her a lot. Luckily, I had to go to classes and study, so that kept me busy. I eventually started to make new friends and get more involved in the activities. That's probably the key -- keep busy and meet new people!"

-- Kara, Boston College (Boston, MA)

"I got a little homesick, but it's not like I moped around all day or anything. It was just something that hit me once in awhile, when I was stressed about schoolwork, sick of cafeteria food, if my roommate was annoying me, or if I was feeling lonely. But it didn't make me depressed, just more excited to go home over Thanksgiving. I didn't really feel like I was losing touch with my friends or anything, 'cause they were all on e-mail at their respective colleges, but I did miss all of us hanging out together. It's normal to miss home, it's part of the experience of going away to school. Don't try to fight it, talk about it with your friends; you'd be surprised at how many people are feeling the exact same that you are."

-- Sharon, University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)

"I didn't get homesick at all! I was so ready to leave home, be independent, and start a life of my own. I didn't miss my parents, but I did miss my friends from home. You don't realize 'til you leave how they're a sort of security blanket for you. Even though I quickly bonded with the other college freshmen in my dorm, it was still difficult feeling completely comfortable. They didn't know my quirky habits and couldn't really understand me when I was feeling down the way my old friends could -- that was hard. You just don't have the history with your college friends like you do with your friends from home. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on the phone!"

-- Joanne, Southern Virginia College for Women (Lexington, VA)

If you're worried that homesickness will strike you to, take along these tokens and tidbits to give your cold dorm room that homey feeling:

  • Photo albums, picture frames, high school trophies, your favorite stuffed animal, and your comfiest blanket -- sentimental stuff will brighten any drab dorm.

  • Frequent phone, e-mail, and old-fashioned letter correspondence will let you reach out and touch your family and friends, plus keep you in the loop.

  • Start hinting to your mom now about how much you'll miss her home cooking. She just may send you a care package of cookies every once in a while.