In Focus: A Home Away From Home
If you are still finding the transition to college challenging, know these feelings are normal. After all, the adjustment to college can take some time, as it requires you to transition to a new environment with new people and new expectations. As a result, you may find yourself experiencing feelings of homesickness or loneliness. You are not alone in your feelings. 94% of students reported experiencing college homesickness during the first 10 weeks of college and many continue to experience homesickness throughout their education. These feelings are a natural part of the process and with some helpful strategies, it will get easier with time.
How to Cope with Homesickness
- Lower Your Expectations: You might expect college life to be all excitement, but it's okay if it's not. Give yourself time to establish your friend group, community, and place on campus.
- Establish a Routine: Creating a daily schedule can provide structure and a sense of normalcy. Consider adding an aspect of your old routine to bring something familiar to your new routine.
- Stay Connected: Keep in touch with your family and friends through video calls, texts, and messages. Regular check-ins can provide comfort and support.
- Explore Your Surroundings: Take the time to explore campus and the local community to find areas that bring you peace and joy.
- Decorate Your Room: Making your room feel more like your home away from home can provide a sense of familiarity. Consider adding some things from home that have sentimental value.
- Put Yourself Out There: If this does not come naturally for you, start small – say hello to a classmate in passing, hold the door open for someone, or hang out in a common area, rather than your dorm, during your breaks.
- Get Involved on Campus: Join a club(s), sport(s), or attend social events on campus. These are great opportunities to meet new people who share your interests.
- Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities like exercising, meditating, journaling, or indulging in hobbies that bring you joy. These activities can help ground you and alleviate stress.
- Seek Support: If you are struggling to manage these feelings, know it's perfectly okay to seek out help. Rely on your peers, as they have experienced similar feelings and can offer advice, or reach out to campus resources who are trained in supporting students.
Be kind to yourself as you continue to adjust and remind yourself that these feelings will subside. You will soon adapt, thrive, and create new memories and connections. Within no time, Stanford will be your home away from home.
Written by: Edward Tran, Class of 2023
- Residential Staff (Undergraduate Student Support | Graduate Student Support): These upper-division students and graduate students want to listen and help. They are available whenever you have a problem and can provide valuable insights from their own Stanford experiences.
- The Bridge Peer Counseling Center: The Bridge is staffed by trained undergraduate and graduate students and offers anonymous, 24/7 peer counseling. Peers are available to listen, explore feelings, help sort out issues, and uncertainties, offer advice, or just talk. Call 650.723.3392.
- Well-Being Coaching: A Well-Being coach can help you cultivate the internal and external resources to live a healthy, vibrant life, manage stress, shift your beliefs and behaviors, build resilience, and form meaningful connections with others.
- Counseling and Psychological Services: Struggling to adjust to college? A CAPS therapist can support you. CAPS offers individual visits, skills workshops, process groups, psychiatry services, community referral resources, 24/7 support, and crisis intervention.
- Office of Student Engagement: This office houses and manages all the student organizations on campus: there are over 600! Joining an organization can help form a sense of community and belonging.
- Community and Belonging at Stanford: Explore the many vibrant student communities on campus, including Cardinal Recovery, Centers for Equity Community and Leadership, the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life, Weiland Health Initiative, and more!
- How to Deal With Homesickness in College The Jed Foundation
- Campus Life: Get to Know Your New Home The Jed Foundation
- Homesickness and Adjustment Across the First Year of College The National Library of Medicine