300 dpi 1 col x 3.25 in / 52x83 mm / 177x281 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a homesick college student crying and grasping a picture of her family and pets. Lexington Herald-Leader 2001
300 dpi 1 col x 3.25 in / 52×83 mm / 177×281 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a homesick college student crying and grasping a picture of her family and pets. Lexington Herald-Leader 2001

Don’t Let Homesickness Define Your Year

Leaving your home for college is something you have probably been thinking about since you got that big packet in the mail from Wake Forest. And while college is full of wonders and amazing memories, it is also challenging and a completely new world. The newness of it is enchanting; however, new experiences, things to learn, and people to meet can be overwhelming.

While it’s fun and new, it’s not uncommon to feel homesick. It is normal to miss your family, friends from home and simpler times in which you were used to your environment. Comfort takes time to build; that’s something that many feel as they transition from high school to college.

For me, I am only 12 minutes from home, yet I still felt  homesick. While I was having a ton of fun, I missed my parents, my high school friends and especially my dog. For me, it was easy to just drive over and see my family, but for many, that is not feasible due to distance or finances. If it isn’t possible for you, I recommend a couple things.

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First and foremost, don’t feel bad for feeling homesick. So many students feel it  as they transition to college — it is normal and  not shameful.

Next, it›s key to talk to those whom you miss and love. Schedule a time once a week, every couple days or even every day to call your parents or best friend from home. I highly recommend Skype or FaceTime. Seeing those whom you love and miss just adds that extra little bit of comfort that eases the homesickness.

My other big recommendation is to get those sentimental photos up on the wall as you decorate your room. Some days are tough, and walking into your room and seeing that great memory from high school can swing the entire day around. Next to my desk, I kept art my sister drew for me and birthday cards from the past. As I was struggling with Calculus II, I would just check out those things and get a brief escape from the stress of class.

Also, it’s key to remember that with how fast college seems to pass, you will be home and spending time with those whom you miss in no time. Fall break, Thanksgiving break and winter break will come before you even know it.

But while it’s important to not downplay those feelings of homesickness, it’s also important to know that homesickness is part of growing up. And what you might not expect is that when you are home, you may start to feel homesick for your new home at Wake Forest. I often find myself complaining that winter break is too long and that I just want to be back on campus with my crew eating Moe’s Southwest Grill.  I mostly miss the Moe’s burrito bowl, though.

Moreover, you are going to be fine and you are going to love college and love Wake Forest. It may take a semester, it may take a year or may even take just one day, but Wake Forest will become your second home and you will love it.

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