Coping with Homesickness

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The Space Needle, Seattle WA.

Whether you’re a few minutes away from home, or a few hundred miles (or a few thousand) homesickness is inevitable! College is full of new people, new places, and new experiences-but that isn’t always what you want. It can be hard to create a new “home” especially if you don’t know anyone, or aren’t used to your surroundings.

I’m from Washington and I definitely feel at a loss trying to sing along to country music or ordering off a Dutch Brothers menu. I would much prefer to blast Macklemore while drinking a venti something-or-other from Starbucks. As much as I miss Washington, I have come to call Monmouth “home”!

This wasn’t easy. It started with spending $60 at a Bartells (it’s kind of like a Rite-Aid?) printing pictures before I moved down here. With my friends constantly staring at me from all angles of my room, it’s hard to feel alone. Knick-knacks clutter my desk, and my teddy bear sits constantly on my pillow. Making your room feel like home is one of the best ways to make college feel like home. Pictures are one great way to do this, but even simply bringing your favorite blanket from home can cure the homesick blues!

I didn’t know a single person when I moved in, and that was certainly a cause of stress my first week. Being upset about feeling so alone really sucks when you’re too afraid to go make friends. But here’s a news-flash for you: EVERYBODY is trying to make friends. It’s kindergarten all over again! So put out some candy, leave your door open, and you’ll be amazed at what happens. On top of this, the number of clubs around campus is astounding! (Check them out here!)No matter what you’re interested in, I promise you can find a group of people ready to talk and obsess with you: so put yourself out there! It can be tough to force yourself into a group of strangers, but take it from me: it’s worth it. Sitting in your room 24/7 is only going to make you more upset.

Speaking of being upset: don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong. Be upset! Miss your best friend, miss your family-miss your dog! Spend a Saturday eating chocolate and popcorn and watching a whole season of something on Netflix. Let yourself be sad, and then pick yourself up and continue. Pretending you’re not missing people who are important to you isn’t going to do you any good, so let it happen and then move forward.

Having a particularly sad day? Psst! Call home! Its fine to spend time talking with old friends. I’m pretty sure everyone has a Skype nowadays, so make use of it. Your friends away at college could probably use it, too! Just remember that you’re here at WOU to learn and form new bonds, so don’t spend all your time stuck in the cyberspace of your hometown.

Being someplace new for the first time can be scary, but you’re not alone. There are so many great opportunities to make friends and learn new things: don’t miss out on them because you’re homesick. Those opportunities are exactly what you need to make WOU feel so comfortable and familiar that you, too, can call it “home”.

By Quinn Murphy

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