I Just Want to go Home: Coping with Homesickness

Congratulations!

You survived high school, and just a little over a month ago you made the big decision to officially pack up and go to college. Your loved ones were super excited, and even you were anxious and ecstatic to begin a new journey that could potentially “change your life forever.” You might have already began decorating your room, laptop, notebook, and/or car with Clemson decals, and all things orange and purple.

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Besides you can never have too much orange right?! Right!

As a way of attempting to create your freshman experience, you decide to attend all Kick-Off Clemson events (hosted by our friends in NSFP), your new roommate also persuades you (which may be a stretch if you are not really into sports) to attend the First Friday Parade, AND also the first game of the season. Go you!

By this point you may be feeling like a true college student who has successfully moved into their new place, attended a few classes, and even found time to attend a few fun welcome events. Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back because you have taken the first step to committing to your Clemson experience!

Well…

What happens when that high energy fades, and you come to realize that this isn’t “fun” or “exciting” anymore? Instead it’s new, overwhelming, and you may be beginning to feel isolated.

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Whether you are a freshman, upperclassmen, out-of-state, transfer, or graduate student, the thought of being in a new environment can be stressful for anyone. You are now being forced to completely (maybe not completely) start over in creating a newfound life here at Clemson, AND you have to figure out how to do it effectively.

That could be very stressful in itself, if you are unsure of how to overcome it.

Maybe you knew that this road wouldn’t be an easy one and that it would take time to adjust, but what you did not expect is to feel so alone. You may be thinking that you are the only person on campus who is still finding it difficult to locate buildings on campus, meet new friends, speak with your professor, and/or narrow your interests to get involved. So by this point you may feel overwhelmed and defeated, in addition to everything that you attempt to do is “wrong” or a “mistake.”

What do you do when everything seems unfamiliar? Resort to things that are familiar.

As you sit and reminisce, thoughts of laughing with close friends and enjoying a home-cooked meal begin to fill your head, and suddenly you crack a smile. Once you are done taking a trip down memory lane, you then may become upset because you realize that everything that was once so very familiar to you, is now so very far away, including those who you care about and those who care about you.

While yes it may be true that everything and everyone you once loved and knew so well is further away, let’s give you some things to think about to help guide you through this process.

We have (3) things that we suggest you consider….

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Is it too soon to tell? 

When starting anything new, the beginning will always be the hardest until you begin to get the swing of things. So before you throw your books across the room and pack your bags to go home, pause and ask yourself…

“Am I giving in too soon?”

“Have I really given my best effort to overcome this?”

“Is this really normal, because I feel like I am alone. But have I talked with anyone about this (Roommate, RA, Office of Advocacy and Success, Dean of Students, CAPS center, friends, and/or family)?

Think about it. If we knew the answers to everything or “thought” that we knew it all, where would the growth and development stem from? Ironically we tend to learn best from the challenges (big or small) we face, and learning is good right? Always! Therefore, if you were to treat your toughest situation(s) as “learning opportunities,” that could potentially decrease a great percentage of your stress and encourage you to do better next time. That said, stick it out until you have tried every possible solution.

Am I letting fear get in the way of my potential?

A wise individual once asked, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Now WE are asking, what would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?

Fear and anxiety is completely normal and it is something we ALL experience. Once you begin to let fear limit your ability or interfere with your success, that is when it becomes something you should practice controlling. Note the word the practice. This is a life-long process that potentially millions of individuals everyday are trying to master. Trying is the first step!

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Have I tried to make new friends or find things that I’m interested in?

Again, trying is the first step! If you actually (wholeheartedly) try, that’s way better than thinking about it and wondering what the outcome would be. Just do it!

  • Check out the Campus Life site to discover upcoming events, student organizations, campus resources, diversity and developmental programs, and more!  http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/
  • Attend residence hall events put on by RAs and socialize with other students in your building and floor. You may just meet your new best friend for the rest of your life, who knows!
  • Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. You want to surround yourself with individuals who allow you to feel comfortable being yourself, while also supporting and challenging you to be a better person holistically.

This concludes our topic for today, but we do sincerely hope that this blog serves a resource to inspire and support all students within our Tiger Family!

Thanks for reading.

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