What to do if you're feeling homesick: 7 things to help you be a brave babe

It's not just E.T. who wants to call home

A welcoming wall tapestry image on pink graphic background
(Image credit: Future)

Wondering how to deal with homesickness? First of all bb girl, let me give you a virtual hug. Even with texting and social media apps, life can feel a li'l lonely when you're navigating the big wide world without your parents.

It's been 11 years since I graduated from college, but I freaked out over feeling lonely in dorms. However, school threw in some psychology modules into my double major, so I get the science behind being solo... like really get it. The key to battling the blues is to replicate schematic experiences that feel like you're close by. WTF am I talking about? Well put simply: creature comforts. 

Here, I share ways that you can get all of those at-home feels on the cheap, and make your dorm room feel cozy AF. I've split out these sections into senses, focusing on taste, touch, scent, and visuals.

1. Find solace in familiar food and drink

Recreating recipes that have been passed down to me from my grandparents is one of my favorite ways to keep cultural traditions going. And nothing on Uber Eats can top a humble pot of soup or stew. By investing in some nice non-toxic cookware, you can have a familiar meal in as little as 15 minutes.

The same goes for drinks. A good tea kettle and charming cup go hand-in-hand to provide warmth and comfort. Trust me when I say a cup of hot cocoa or a well-spiced chai latte can work wonders.

Oh, and make sure you grab some food storage containers and a chic cool bag (from Amazon) so you can take Mom's leftovers home when you're in town!

2. Fill your space with familiar scents

A smell can transport me back to my favorite memories, so when you're homesick look to home fragrances that can encapsulate past moments that brought you joy.

If you live in a small apartment, candles are one of the most effective things to buy. But if you're not allowed naked flames (hey, dorm dwellers), seek out other options. FYI, there are plug-ins that fake the smell of a new home available at Nordstrom if the place you've moved into smells a little stale.

3. Add some tactile touches

Whether it's a super-soft patchwork throw or perhaps a tactile piece of tapestry, there are so many ways to make your dorm room feel cozier — especially if touch is your love language. Need a top tip? Spritz your soft furnishings with a loved one's perfume or cologne (available at FragranceX or Fragrance Net) to up the sentimental factor.

4. Fill the space with photos

One of the best ways to feel closer to home is through photos. Print out all your pics and grab some frames or hanging garlands to have photos near your study and sleep spaces. It'll serve as the perfect reminder that your support system still has your back no matter how far away you are. 

5. Provide yourself with positive affirmations

No, we aren't going cheugy on your ass by popping a "Live, laugh, love" sign in this edit. Sometimes, though, you need to surround yourself with slogans to believe you're a boss babe. You've got this.

6. Make your room bloom with fresh or faux plants

My mom always has a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen. IMO, this is the epitome of dopamine decorating. If you've got an allergy, can't deal with real plants, or are just too busy being a student, there are some realistic-looking faux alternatives out there. Or flip the idea on its head with the Lego bouquet below. If you can properly invest in being a plant mom, there are loads of amazing indoor plants that can clean musty air and keep pests at bay.

7. Make time to connect (and disconnect)

If you can't see your friends IRL — create a way to mimic the environment. One of my favorite things to do when I'm stressed out is play some music. Many of my favorite tunes have been inspired by my mom and dad's Motown classics, but you don't need a record player to relive the memories. Here are some of the best speakers I've seen while shopping.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.