How to handle your homesickness

As you tuck your last sweater into the bin beneath your bed, it hits you. Orientation is over. Your parents have fed you a Village Tavern dinner, and they have helped you unpack and arrange your dorm room. And now it’s over.

For many college freshmen, this is the first time experiencing true stay-up-as-late-as-you-want, manage-your-own-time, no-rules freedom. You are given an opportunity to live, act and think like an adult. Although exciting, the occasional onset of homesickness is inevitable.

The next time you’re missing Mom’s macaroni and cheese and Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” is playing on repeat in your head, give these tips a try to cure homesickness.

1. Call Home Occasionally

Naturally you will want to call your parents, and I can guarantee they will want to hear from you. However, be careful not too call too often, as it will make the transition even more difficult. If you spend too much time checking in on life at home, you might pass up on making memories at school. Try delaying your next call home and take time to appreciate the people around you.

2. Get Involved

Wake Forest has clubs, events and teams for everyone. Within the next few weeks there will be a student activities fair organized on Manchester Quad. Make it a priority to stop by and peruse the booths of the various student groups on campus. Whether you audition for Banshees, join Student Union, register for recruitment or sign up to write for the Old Gold & Black, getting involved will surround you with great people that share similar interests and distract you from any feelings of homesickness.

3. Leave your Room

Your perfectly decorated dorm room doesn’t compete with a run through Reynolda gardens, so turn off Netflix and enjoy life on campus and in the community (South residents, we’re looking at you). Wake Forest events such as Pros vs. Joes, Hit the Bricks, Lighting of the Quad and Awake All Night are supported by students campus-wide. By exploring these events instead of hiding in your dorm, you will have less time to feel homesick and might even have some fun, too.

4. Establish a Routine

Adjusting to a college lifestyle is undeniably difficult. With new sleep patterns, study habits and interests, it is easy for life to seem chaotic at times. Establish a routine to help you stay on track. This consistency will ease your mind and make the transition easier.

5. Keep a Positive Attitude

Remind yourself how lucky you are for the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university with a gorgeous campus. Sure, it will be hard at times, but approaching the challenges with a grateful heart is the best cure for homesickness. Stay positive through your first disappointing test grade, roommate disagreement and whatever else comes your way.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Your peers are adjusting to the college lifestyle while battling homesickness, too. Don’t hesitate to talk to a new friend or your roommate about how you’re feeling. Wake Forest is a close-knit community, and nobody wants to see a fellow Deacon feeling distressed. There are multiple outlets on campus for you to share your thoughts and feelings with confidentiality, and of course, you can always count on your friends to be there to listen and help you work through any bouts of homesickness you might have. By following these tips, you’ll give yourself the best opportunity to succeed in your first year of Deacon-hood. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself homesick for Wake Forest over winter break, either.