Going to college can be incredibly exciting, nerve-wracking and a mixture of both. You are on the cusp of expanding your horizons, but you are also moving away from the place that you have called home for the last few years of your academic studies, extracurricular endeavors and social activities.
Regardless of your cultural, academic or social background or the location of your physical home, you may experience bouts of homesickness as you adjust to the new social climate of Wake Forest. These feelings of homesickness are normal for incoming college students, and learning how to successfully manage them is a critical part of a college experience.
For those who begin to feel that their dorm is a source of physical or emotional discomfort, compounding the issue of homesickness, one of the most effective solutions is to leave the room and explore campus. As you find new study spots, trek through Reynolda Gardens and make new friends, Wake Forest will begin to feel like a “home away from home.”
Another way to combat homesickness is to find activities to occupy any gaps of time in your schedule. Join student organizations that appear fascinating, find a new hobby or play in an intramural league — these are great opportunities to become involved in the community surrounding you. An added benefit is filling time that otherwise would have been spent worrying about things at home.
Meanwhile, if you still struggle with returning to your dorm after a long day, try to recreate similar sights, sounds and smells from home. You could decorate the blank walls with pictures of your family and friends from home, fill the quiet space with music from your favorite soundtrack or freshen the air with familiar scents with aromatic oils.
While you attempt to mitigate these feelings of homesickness, also know that your family and friends are only a phone call away. Scheduling time each week to talk to people from your hometown is a great way to keep in touch. You might even find that your best friend who went to another college is also struggling with homesickness.
It is also important to note that you likely will also have the chance to visit with family and friends during breaks in the academic schedule or Family Weekend.
Cherish these valuable moments that you are able to spend with your family on and off campus. Whenever homesickness afflicts you, remember that these people and moments are always in your heart and thoughts, even if they are not physically with you.
Whichever solutions you find are most applicable to your particular situation, you will hopefully find unpleasant emotions subsiding as they are eventually replaced with a sense of belonging in the Wake Forest community.