Handling Homesickness

October 2, 2013
students jumping on beach at sunset

Are you homesick or feeling like you don’t quite fit in? This is normal and although it may seem like everyone has it all together, many other students are going through the same thing. Try some of these tips to help alleviate your homesickness or feelings of not belonging:

  • Talk about your feelings with someone, from your roommate to your Resident Assistant (all RA’s have gone through extensive training and are available to you 24/7!)
  • Call home. This may sound like common sense, but it can really help. The key factor, however, is not to call home all of the time. A few times a week is a good amount because it keeps you in the loop, but doesn’t take away from your experience here. Keep the conversation positive. But if you miss your friends, family, or partner, giving them a call can sometimes help ease the heartache.
  • Go visit home on occasion. Visiting home can be a great way to recharge yourself and get some of that TLC that you need. But going home too often can frequently make homesickness worse. Let yourself go home when you need it, but make sure it doesn’t turn into an every-weekend occurrence. Again, depending on the person, 1-3 times per quarter is a perfect amount.
  • Get out of your room. It’s incredibly easy to hide in your room in college. But doing so prevents you from meeting new people, trying new things, and experiencing college life in general. Make sure you spend time out of your room – even if it’s just at the UCen, in your floor lounge, or the library – and get your mind on other things.
  • Attend your RA’s programs! They are geared to both educate you and activate you in your community here and there’s no better way to meet good people.
  • Utilize the UCSB Health & Wellness program. They have tons of free activities including workshops, field trips, and weekly wellness centers (one is even on-site at Santa Catalina)!

It’s important to reach out for help and know you aren’t alone. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a wonderful resource. Call (805) 893-4411 to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. No matter what steps you take, just know that having feelings of homesickness or anxiety are not out of the ordinary. It takes time for students to adjust to a new environment but before you know it, UCSB will feel like home!

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