Starting college is a big step for most freshmen. Especially since UGA requires all first year students to live on campus. For some students, this is an exciting moment to meet new friends, adapt new environment and take college-level courses. For others, though, it’s not that easy. Many freshmen struggle with homesickness. This is because most students at UGA are in-state students, and they normally go to high schools in their counties which are close to their houses. Therefore, sleeping in a dorm is definitely a different experience. When they first move away from home, they are not only out of their comfort zone but also moving to an unfamiliar place where personal support systems of friends and family may seem to disappear. The feeling of being alone and uncertainty is very common among freshmen and makes them feel distressed. Thus, it’s really important to understand what is happening and knowing how to deal with the feelings can benefit many new students going through the college life.
Here are some positive tips that freshmen can to do help with homesickness. First, make the dorm room your own. Bring as many of your personal items as you can to your dorm room. Things that you’re familiar with. Bringing things you use daily at home and which you will enjoy coming home to, will reduce the stress of leaving home. These include bedding, photos, cushions and pillows. Secondly, get involved in activities. Making new friends in a new school is crucial. Try to find some clubs that you may be interested in and be active in club events to keep you busy. We all know that it’s not easy for everyone to get to know new people and get into new clubs. However, research shows that finding at least one friend you can talk with makes a huge difference in adapting to a new environment. Last but not least, take time in making these changes and set aside time to relax. With all the course load and homework, it’s hard to not be pressured into doing things. Try to listen to some relaxing music and take a deep breath if you think you’re stressed out. Just keep in mind that everything takes time. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be comfortable.