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Dealing with homesickness

There is nothing abnormal about missing home and mom’s food, but building a network of supportive friends can help you get over it . Chitra Jha Reports

education Updated: Aug 06, 2009 09:26 IST
Chitra Jha

College days mean exciting times, especially so if you are a boarder/hosteller; or so you thought before you left home!! Within the first few days of your dream life, homesickness hits you hard. You didn’t know it would be this tough. The experience is heart-wrenching. You had no inkling of how you would be affected.

Why does one miss home so much when away to a boarding or hostel for the first time in his or her life? It’s like an empty feeling at the pit of one’s stomach. You can’t pinpoint the exact thing you miss... Is it mom’s cooking? Is it the time that you spent with dad playing carrom? The fights with your brother? The long hours you spent chatting with school buddies?
Perhaps it is all of that, but whatever may be the cause of your miserable moods, what can you do to deal with them?

Here are some pointers which may help:
n It is okay to miss home and you are never too old to feel homesick. Feeling homesick is a normal reaction to being away from your everyday life. This realisation does help and doesn’t make you any weaker. You will snap out of it sooner than you think.
n Call, chat, e-mail or webcam with people you miss. Let the tears flow. Get your emotions out of the way, but do not dwell upon them longer than is necessary.
n Allow yourself to live in the present. You are not being disloyal to people you miss, if you have a good time in the hostel.
n Talk to other freshers, who may be feeling the same as you are, and share your
feelings. Develop a support network.
n Make sure to get enough sleep and eat adequately. Nutrition and relaxation are very important.
n Be optimistic and upbeat. Don’t just cry on the phone; tell your loved ones about your new life and how things are going with you.
n Give yourself some time to adjust. Tell yourself that you can handle your feelings.
n Learn to relax. Deep breathing helps when you are feeling sad.
n Quantify the time you consciously think of home. Use this time to get involved in various college and hostel activities to take your mind off home.

Homesickness may be difficult to handle, but it presents you an opportunity to move out of your comfort zone. You learn to take charge of your life and learn new inter-personal skills. Remember, there are many things that you can do to help yourself out of your homesickness, but don’t ever hesitate to seek others’ help.Homesickness is not unusual.The author is a life skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer.