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How to Cope With Homesickness as a Brock University Student

How to Cope With Homesickness as a Brock University Student

Homesickness isn’t just something that happens to young children at summer camps. It’s an extremely common occurrence, potentially impacting 5-10% of all university students. While growing up, our families and loved ones are a large part of what shapes us as people. Leaving them behind to pursue successful lives of our own – whether it’s fifteen minutes away, or five hundred miles – is tough for almost everybody. Missing home doesn’t make you silly or weak, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. For most people, homesickness is natural, normal, and difficult to prevent.

“Adulting” is stressful, especially for the first time. If you’re feeling blue, here are some tips to help you cope with being out on your own for the first time, as well as when and why you should reach out for professional help.

1. Connect with other students

University is the first time that many students are forced out of their social comfort zones. You’ve just left your closest family members, and likely your best friends. It’s normal to be scared, and it’s normal to grieve a little. But here’s some good news: the people around you in this new place are in the exact same boat. 

Yes, university is a blank slate. You probably don’t know your roommate, your professors, or your new neighbors. For that reason, the perfect time to forge new friendships. If you’re feeling homesick, having new, healthy friendships is an excellent way to adapt to a new environment.

There are always opportunities to connect with other Brock U students during the year. Don’t miss them! From meetups, to movie nights, to clubs; there is always something happening on campus. If you’re not sure where to start, Brock University has an excellent website that students can use to find activities and clubs that interest them, called ExperienceBU.

2. Talk to others about the way you’re feeling

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you if you’re overwhelmed. You are not alone. Talk to others about the way you’re feeling, as there are many people experiencing the same challenges. Developing a support system of individuals that you can talk to and share with is invaluable for the transition into university life. Find someone you can not only talk to, but also that you can listen to. Exchange your stories. Actively listening to the stories of others makes you a better you.

Aside from other students, there are also compassionate and experienced faculty and staff at Brock U who want to help you. 

3. Stay connected to your family and old friends – but no ‘too’ connected

These days, the internet makes it possible to video chat, snap, text, or call from pretty much anywhere. It can be comforting and healthy to hear the voice of a loved one during a difficult time – but make sure that you budget your time accordingly. Relying too much on communication with your family and friends far away takes away from making meaningful face-to-face connections on campus. Keep your communication with loved ones regular, but balanced with regular social activities with other students. Instead of only dwelling on what you miss, start thinking about the positive aspects of where you are, and make Brock U “home.”

For most first time students, a little bit of homesickness is normal.

So, instead of trying to keep it from happening, acknowledge and embrace your feelings. Simply ignoring your situation can potentially make you feel worse, and if not addressed, it can negatively impact your academic performance, and in severe cases your mental and physical health.

On another serious note, the symptoms of homesickness can mimic those of more serious conditions, like anxiety and depression. If you experience symptoms that interfere with your grades, social life, and emotional health, there are free counselling resources at Brock University just for you. Making an appointment at Counselling Services is easy, private, and fast. Experienced counsellors are willing to listen and help with any problems you might be having.

Why is Student Lofts a great place for first time students?

Living at Student Lofts puts you in the optimum location for accessing Brock University and its student resources. Our housing is also the perfect place for new students to begin their university experience. With our lounges, game room, movie theater, and affordable four-bedroom lofts; you’ll have the opportunity to connect with roommates and neighbors in a community that truly feels like home. Want to learn more? Contact us today.

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