Prescription for homesickness

Illustration by Gabbie Evans.


Whether you live near or far, homesickness is inevitable for first years. It happens to everyone at some point regardless of where you go and affects everyone differently. However,students can conquer homesickness during this adjustment period.

These five points are just what the doctor ordered for fighting your case of homesickness.

  1. Stay still.

According to a UCLA study, almost 70 percent of first-year students report feeling homesick. Staying on campus lessens these feelings over time.  Before I came to Butler, the longest time I was away from home was four days.  Two weeks felt like an eternity without seeing my parents or dogs every day.  

I chose to go home for Labor Day weekend and I found myself not really wanting to go back to school after sleeping in my own bed and eating food that did not come from Atherton. Limiting your visits home will help you adapt to life on campus quicker, making you miss home less.  

Not to mention our first break is just a week away, so hang in there.

  1. Keep in touch with your family, but limit it.

The amount you talk to your family is also a factor in how homesick a student gets.  Obviously it is important to keep in touch with the ones close to you, but it seems like keeping too in touch makes the transition even more difficult because college is also an experience where students grow to become more independent.  

It is a small taste of the reality that we will be without our parents at times, especially after graduation.

  1. Focus on your college experience.

Your high school friends will always be with you, but depending on who you are or where you go, students most likely had to say goodbye to some, if not all of their friends from high school as people part ways to their respective schools.  

Coming to Butler was a fresh start socially for me. Nobody from my school is here, so every face I see has been a brand new one. I have found this to be a gift and a curse.  

On the bright side, I’ve met several great people and have been lucky enough to make some friends and get along well with most of the people I have met.  

On the flip side, I have found myself looking a lot at what is going on at my high school friends. Seeing the highlights of your friends’ college experiences can spark some remorse and, at times, have you missing old times with them instead of doing what you can so your experience the best it can be with whomever you are with.

  1. Remember everyone is going through the same thing.

It is easy to convince yourself you are the only person going through hardships like homesickness, but this is not the case at all.

It always helps to talk to other students about their cases of homesickness, and even going to the counseling center could help you feel better about being away from home.

  1. It gets better.

Surely it can hit anybody at any time, but for first years, homesickness is unavoidable and much more difficult to cope with than it is for the students who have already gone through the transition and have a year or two — or even three — of college life under their belt.  

In time, Butler will feel more like home away from home, which will slowly ease away your homesickness. Come summertime, you might even find yourself missing campus while you are at home waiting in anticipation for your next year at Butler.


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