Most of us, at one time or another, have missed home – the familiar, predictable atmosphere and people. Entering college is an exciting step—a passage to adulthood and independence. But, what should you do when that feeling of “Oh, I wish I were back at home—this is miserable” begins to set in?

First Of All, Missing Home Is Absolutely Normal.

Missing home, the place (your house), the people (your family and friends), and the pets (the cat, the dog, or the guppies) is absolutely normal. Adjustments of learning how to cope in a new environment take time to develop. Once you figure it out, that skill can provide you with practice and experience in coping with moves or transitions later in life.

Schedule Visits Home.

Set a schedule for regular visits home, if possible. Visits should be planned time with family and friends to help boost your self-confidence in building this new independent life you are creating.  It is important to also spend time on campus cultivating relationships and creating a new home for yourself.

Plan Visits To Campus.

Scheduling time for your family and friends to come to Lawrence and check out the campus and community in which you are building your home can be helpful so that they can share in the creation of memories and be able to remind you of positive experiences during the hard days.

Stay In Touch By Phone And Email.

Having regular contact with friends and family from home can both improve and worsen the feelings of homesickness.  Knowing yourself and the amount of communication you need is important in setting a schedule for phone calls, facetime, zoom, or email communication with friends and family.  Writing letters or subscribing to a hometown newspaper can be a fun way to keep in touch with people from home.  Having a weekly facetime or zoom with multiple friends or family members can also help keep you connected while not taking away from time to spend building new relationships and hobbies.

Do Something Familiar.

Find an activity or restaurant that you had at home (or is similar) and spend some time engaging in that activity or eating food from home.  Participating in familiar activities can be comforting on days when you just need a little reminder of home and also helps you explore your new town.

Develop A Routine.

New independence means creating and following a new routine.  Often, we feel most homesick when things are new, uncomfortable, or scary.  Creating a new routine can help you settle into campus and feel stable and comfortable in your new surroundings.  Creating healthy eating and sleeping routines are important for success.

Join Activities.

Making new friends, joining clubs on campus or in the community for activities you already enjoy, or learning a new hobby are all things that you can do to keep yourself busy and combat homesickness.  Creating a community around you that has similar interests will help Lawrence feel more like home.

Allow Yourself To Accept Feeling Homesick.

Missing familiar people and things from home is common. Plan some time to reflect on those feelings and to accept them. Taking charge of your feelings in this way often helps to work through them.  You can spend this time journaling, writing a letter, or just being present and acknowledging how you feel.