How to settle into your dorm if you're missing home

The homesickness is real!

Pink dorm with neon lights
(Image credit: @morgansauerwein)

If it's your first year in the dorms, you may be having trouble settling in and making friends. It's exciting to gain independence when moving into your new space, decorating your room, making new friends, and partying at the dorms, but homesickness can really hit hard. 

Even if don't enjoy living with your parents back home, it’ll creep up when you least expect it. I don’t blame ya because I was the first person to phone my parents, especially when moving out for the first time as a college freshman. 

With this in mind, there are a variety of ways college freshmen can cope with homesickness. If you’re close to your fam, here are some tips for cooping with homesickness and settling into your dorm.

1) Contact family and friends back home

If it were up to me, I’d call Mom and Dad every day. Make sure to stay in touch with your loved ones back home, whether it's via phone calls, texts, social media, or Facetime. This will help you feel connected to them and remind you that you're not alone.

2) Get involved in activities on campus

One of the best ways to combat homesickness is to get involved in activities on campus. Doing so will help you meet new people and make new friends, which can help you feel more at home in your new environment. With this in mind, try out for sports you love or join Spanish, Italian, or Salsa clubs. To add on, attending campus events isn’t a bad idea. The possibilities are endless!

3) Make friends

Now that you’ve attended events on campus, have made the sports team of your choice, or joined fun clubs, it’s time to make friends! Even if it isn’t at any of these activities or campus events, places one could make friends at when in college are the cafeteria during lunch, the library during a study session (sidenote: don’t be too loud), the bookstore, or campus cafe because you can’t go wrong with meeting someone new when grabbing a cup of coffee or tea.

4) Self care is priority

Taking care of yourself is key. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. This will help you feel better both physically and emotionally. With this in mind, go for a jog around campus (no later than 6 p.m. cause safety is always a priority), or hit the gym. In addition, give yourself some DIY facials and take care of your skin because those late-night study hours could take a toll on your face. 

5) Find a quiet place to relax

When you're feeling homesick, it can be helpful to find a quiet place to relax and de-stress. This could be your dorm room, a library, or even a park. When spending time in these quiet places, go on YouTube and play a guided meditation or simply work on your breathing techniques. Making your dorm super relaxing can help you unwind.

6) Just do something you love 

When you're feeling down, it can be helpful to do something you enjoy. This could be reading your favorite book, watching a movie, listening to music, taking a walk on campus, eating your favorite sweet treat, or even painting on a canvas. My go-to is writing in a journal because it can be a helpful way to express your feelings and work through them, especially if you're missing your parents.

7) Remember why you're even here

It's important to remember why you're in college in the first place. Whether it's to get a good education, to prepare for a career, or to meet new people, remind yourself of your goals and why you're working towards them. Also, don’t forget that some of you are fortunate enough to have parents putting you through college. With that said, always make sure to do your best!

8) Talk to someone you trust

If you're struggling to cope with homesickness, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can assist you with developing coping mechanisms and strategies for dealing with homesickness. Talking to a trusted friend or even your roommate could also help. Sometimes, just talking to someone can help you feel better.

Homesickness is a normal feeling. With the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to cope with it. And remember… you’ll see your parents again for holiday breaks or even weekends!

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.