Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

November 14, 2010 12:28 AM

Fighting the Homesickness Blues

Many people experience homesickness when they move away from home for college. Living in a new environment and experiencing new things can be exhilarating yet stressful at the same time. All this newness can be overwhelming, causing college students to want to return to a place where things are familiar and comfortable.

I had a very hard time adjusting to life at Cal during my freshmen year. It was difficult for me being at Berkeley facing new challenges in college while my whole support system was in Southern California. I missed my mom, sister, and high school friends so much, and I could not find people I connected with as much as them at Cal. But as time passed, I got more comfortable living in Berkeley and I found a new group of friends that became my new support system.

Here are some steps to help you fight the homesickness blues

1. You are not alone! Around 2/3 of college students feel homesick. Don't be embarrassed to talk about your feelings to your friends and family. You are going through a transitional period and it's normal to feel this way. It does not in any way mean that you are emotionally weak, only that you have a great relationship with your family and friends back home.

2. It is just a temporary feeling. Some students are able to get over their homesickness within the first couple months of college while some other students may take longer to adjust. Just don't worry, homesickness is only a temporary feeling! As you get more accustomed to your new surroundings, it will become like your second home.

3. Join campus clubs Do you have an interest in dance, photography, community service, politics, sports or sustainable living? There is a club for practically everything you may have an interest in on campus. Even if you can't find one that interests you, why not get some friends together and start your own club? Here is a website that lists all the campus organizations:

4. Try to limit visits back home Avoid going home every weekend. Every time you go back home, it makes it harder for you to start your new life in college. Try to find things to do around campus. There are great restaurants and stores around Berkeley that you can explore. Take some Group-X classes at the RSF. They have a large range of classes like Extreme Turbo Kickboxing, Cycling, Hip Hop Aerobics, Tease Aerobics, Bollywood, Yoga, Core Blast, Pilates, etc.

5. Meet new people. If you are living in the dorms, walk around with a friend or a roommate to the different floors to meet new people. Talk to your RA about creating a floor dinner or game night where you can meet people with common interests.

6. Talk to someone about your homesickness Your CNR PALs are here for you if you ever need to chat. We have been through the difficulties of adjusting to college and we can provide advice to help you through your troubles as well. We are here to provide academic and emotional support. Our office hours are held Monday through Thursday at 260 Mulford, so come out and visit! The friendly CNR major and faculty advisors are here as well to help with any problems you may have.

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