How to Deal with Homesickness in College

Leaving for college is an exciting and transformative time in your life. However, for many students, it can also trigger a common emotional challenge: homesickness. The unfamiliar surroundings, absence of familiar faces, and new responsibilities can leave new college students feeling sad and longing for the comfort of home. 

In this blog post, we explore homesickness in college and some strategies that you can use during this transitional phase. Experiencing homesickness and feeling sad is normal, but learning how to cope and create a sense of belonging on campus can be a huge benefit to your mental health.

Reach Out and Build a Support System

Starting college can be overwhelming, but it's also an excellent opportunity to meet new people and expand your social circle. The first step in dealing with homesickness is to actively engage with your college community. Engaging in these social opportunities will not only help you meet like-minded individuals but also introduce you to diverse perspectives and experiences. 

These new connections can serve as a support system during challenging times, allowing you to lean on one another and share in the common experience of navigating college life. Here are some ways you can meet new people on your college campus:

  • Orientation events
  • Clubs or organizations
  • Intramural sports 
  • Study groups
  • Church or chapel
  • Bible study
  • Campus ministry
  • Mission trips
  • Volunteering
  • Fitness or recreation centers
  • The student union
  • Career fairs
  • Your residence hall or dorm
  • Social media groups (be safe and smart when connecting online!)

Group of friends hang out

Utilize Campus Resources, Including Counseling Centers

Recognizing the importance of mental health during this transitional phase is crucial. College campuses typically offer counseling centers staffed with professionals experienced in assisting students with various challenges, including homesickness. Don't hesitate to seek help if you're feeling overwhelmed. Visiting the counseling center can provide a safe space to express your feelings, work through homesickness, and learn valuable coping mechanisms to manage stress. Remember, you're not alone, and seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

If you don’t feel comfortable or aren’t sure about how to connect with your campus mental health center, reach out to another trusted adult like a professor or adviser, and they’ll be able to guide you.

Stay Connected with Phone Calls and Visits

In the digital age, staying connected with your family and friends from back home is easier than ever. Regular phone calls, video chats, and instant messaging can bridge the physical distance and make homesickness more bearable. Hearing familiar voices and seeing friendly faces can provide comfort and reassurance during moments of loneliness. 

If possible, plan occasional visits back home. It can really ease your mind to have something to look forward to, especially if it’s just a few weeks or months away. Once you’re home, spending time with loved ones and immersing yourself in familiar surroundings can offer a temporary reprieve from the challenges of college life, allowing you to recharge and return to campus with renewed enthusiasm.

Cozy nook in home with candles and books

Create a Home Away from Home

Your college living space can play a big role in easing homesickness. Personalizing your dorm or apartment with items from home can transform it into a cozy sanctuary. Hang up pictures of your family, friends, and cherished memories to remind you of the support system you have beyond college. Surround yourself with comforting scents, such as diffusers or air fresheners with your favorite aroma. Embrace your creativity and make your living space feel warm and inviting, like a home away from home.

Additionally, explore your cooking skills by preparing dishes that hold sentimental value or remind you of home. Cooking or baking family recipes can evoke nostalgia and make you feel more connected to your roots. Invite new friends over for a meal to share a taste of your home and culture while forging deeper connections. It’s also a great way to expand your circle.

The effort put into creating a welcoming space will not only help you cope with homesickness but also provide you with a sense of pride and ownership over your college environment.


Experiencing homesickness in college is entirely normal, and it's essential to acknowledge and address these feelings rather than ignoring them. By reaching out and building a support system, utilizing campus resources like counseling centers, staying connected with loved ones through phone calls and visits, and creating a home away from home, you can effectively cope with homesickness and make the most of your college experience. 

Embrace this transformative journey as it offers a unique opportunity for personal growth, building lasting relationships, and discovering your true sense of belonging in your college community. Remember that homesickness is temporary, and with time, you will adapt and thrive in your new surroundings. College is a time to look forward to!

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