CyGuide: Keys to avoiding homesickness

Brian Day

Leaving the familiarity one’s hometown to move to a new place with new people can be a scary experience for many college freshmen.

“Leaving my family and friends was a tough thing to deal with, but I knew that once I started to get involved and meet new people, it would get a lot easier,” said Josh Fullenkamp, sophomore in mechanical engineering. 

The following are tips that can help students to overcome any worries they may have about homesickness and make their freshman year a more pleasant experience:

1. Skype with family, friends regularly

The power of technology makes it much easier to stay connected with family and friends.

If possible, try to set a regular date that works for everyone in the family — maybe once a week — when everyone can all sit down in front of a computer and Skype one another. By doing this, not only will students be able to catch up on what happened with everyone during the week, but they will also be able to see them while talking.

2. Meet new people right away

There are going to be thousands of new freshmen coming to campus next fall who are all in the same situation.

During Destination Iowa State, try to get to know as many people as you can and be as social as possible.

Getting to know more people could take new students’ minds off of the people they miss from back home.

3. Be active

Whether it’s with studies or with extra-curricular activities, try to stay active. Iowa State offers hundreds of clubs, intramurals and other activities that students can get involved with.

It may be harder for students to think about how much they miss friends and family when they’re having fun with the new acquaintances.

“[Being active] helped me to meet a lot of new people and essentially start a new family with my friends here at college,” said Kevin Ranney, sophomore in civil engineering.

4. Get family involved with Iowa State

Iowa State offers many opportunities for the families of students to get involved with the university.

During football season there is Family Weekend and Homecoming, and in the spring, Veishea. All of these festivities are great times to encourage friends and family to visit Iowa State and see everything the school has to offer.

5. Find someone from the area you can travel with

If students do not have a car to make trips back home when they feel homesick, they can try asking around to find someone who is from a similar area.

They could be a good resource to have; it makes traveling more economical. Not to mention, students could make a friend along the way.