When I was preparing for move-in day at Ohio State, I was so excited that the thought of becoming homesick never even crossed my mind. I couldn’t wait to meet my roommate, decorate the room, get involved in student organizations, and find out what life was like in college. In the days leading up to move-in, I spent every free minute going through my checklist of things to pack, browsing the countless clubs and organizations online, and studying a campus map so I wouldn’t get lost on the first day of class.
Then move-in day and all of its excitement came. I was so busy for the first few days that I didn’t have time to dwell on home. I was constantly running somewhere, whether that be to class, to an event, or a club meeting. But when things slowed down and I started to miss the familiarities of my house, my family, and my old friends, that was when homesickness hit me like a ton of bricks. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about making the transition to a new city where you know almost no one, so here are a few tips:
It’s cliche, but it’s true. You’ll meet people through your classes, and sure, you could become best friends with them, but it isn’t likely. Join a student organization that interests you, and you’ll find plenty of like-minded individuals. Plus, you won’t be sitting in your dorm thinking about home.
It’s okay to call your parents and friends back home to check in. If your friends are going to other colleges, ask for their addresses and send them a letter or postcard in the mail! It’s a little gesture that goes a long way, and you might even get something in return…
Find the places where you like to study, eat, and hang out. When you have some free time, just explore. It will help make your campus feel more familiar and more like home.
Realize that moving away for college is a transition.
Transitions take time. It’s okay and completely normal to miss home, especially in the beginning when everything feels so foreign. Allow yourself time to get used to everything, and don’t expect the transition to be easy. This is a major turning point in your life, and everyone who goes through times like these struggles (even the ones who claim they don’t!). Just know that it does get easier!