Yes, it happens. For some it creeps up slowly after the excitement and novelty wears down. For others, it may be lurking from the moment they hit campus.The obvious causes are simply being away from friends, family and familiar surroundings. The appeal of independence can often be mixed with some apprehension about making all those (even small) day to day choices and decisions. Homesickness can present itself clearly, as in “I want to go home!” Sometimes it sneaks up in more subtle ways as sleep problems, worrying, change in appetite, or difficulty making decisions. How can you avoid or deal with homesickness?
1) Get involved (OK, you have heard that one before). But, really, try something new: a WCU music program, a walk through West Chester, a club you have thought of checking out.
2) Stay in touch with home, but stay on campus often! Leaving every weekend only draws out the adjustment.
3) Concentrate on the positive: what things/classes/people have you found that you enjoy?
4) Exercise! It gets the happy, calming endorphins going.
5) Sleep! Fatigue aggravates everything. If you are having trouble, stop by the Wellness Center, Wayne Hall 224 for a Sleep Kit.
6) Limit caffeine. Eat healthy foods. Limit sweets to avoid mood swings.
Know that homesickness is usually short term (repeat that to yourself). Get help if you find homesickness causing you to miss classes, avoid people, feel depressed, or think about leaving school. Call the Counseling
Center at x2301, or the Health Center at x2509.
The beginning of the year may seem to be the hardest time to be away from home. Julie Reinert, currently a sophomore, said, “The beginning of the first semester of my freshmen year I called my mom and went home
a lot. By the end of the the year I didn’t want to go home. You make friends and get used to your school routine and the area.”
For others, homesickness was never a problem. “I was never homesick because I lived in another country before coming to college. School is still close to home. A few of my friends were homesick, but they got over it as soon as they created a new home at school,” said Sarah Huskin.
Moving into a new environment can be scary, but knowing that there is someone else who is going through the same experience can be a comfort. Getting along with your roommate is a vital step in becoming comfortable at school during the first semester. Following these steps
will help you learn to love your new home and find life long
friends as well.