How to battle homesickness


Homesickness is an ailment that many students suffer from. Some students are not willing to admit to another that they are missing their homes.

Matthew Rezab

Living away from home for the first time can be a scary proposition. Many new students are living with someone they barely know, and do not have many friends on campus. 

Homesickness can be serious for both students and their parents. It can lead to problems with depression and anxiety. Some of the best ways to cope with homesickness are:


Get out of your room – As easy as it is to board yourself up away from the world in your dorm room, getting out and about around campus and the Ames community will help integrate you into the ISU and Ames communities. Finding new friends and fun things to do around your new home might just make you forget about your homesickness.

Let yourself be sad … for a day – It’s natural to feel homesick, but focusing on the feeling and letting it linger for too long is unhealthy. Spend a day reminiscing and missing home and the people you left behind, then move on to what lies ahead.

Get involved – Iowa State offers a multitude a of ways to get involved on campus. Check out the available clubs, organizations, intramurals and extra-curricular activities. Even if you don’t get involved in any of these things right away, you can join at any time.

Get talkative – Other people probably feel the same way you do. If you’re having a rough time, talk about it. Whether that’s with your roommate, your parents or other people you meet around campus. Help cheer each other up by talking about where you’re from, what you like to do and what you’re looking forward to.


Take time to listen – If your child is homesick, take time to hear about their day. Ask about their classes, new friends and problems he or she is having. 

Keep your frustrations to yourself – Telling your child how horribly you miss them does not help. It’s fine to let them know you miss them, but going on and on about having an empty nest may make them feel guilty about leaving home.

Be supportive, but stay away – Your child is probably living on their own for the first time. They don’t need a weekly visit from mom or dad. In fact, encourage them to stay in Ames on weekends and to not make too many trips home. College offers the chance for students to figure out who they really are and what they want to be. Students need a chance to figure those things out on their own.

Signs of homesickness – If your child is calling home more often than you expected, eating or drinking too much, their grades are slipping or they express an extreme dislike for the school, they might be homesick. Iowa State offers Student Counseling Services to help with homesickness.

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