The first year of college is always an exciting one. So much happens at once and you are exposed to tons of new things. But sometimes being away from home isn’t as great as you thought it would be, and getting homesick is inevitable.
Here’s how to counteract those nostalgic feelings:
Make new friends
Though it may seem obvious, having others around you can help you forget about those left behind and give you someone to talk with when you are missing home or feeling down. Chances are you won’t be the only one.
It may seem strange, but if you live in a residence hall, go door to door in your hallway and try to introduce yourself to everyone. Since most people there are freshman, they’re probably looking for new friends, too.
Similarly, meet at least two people in all of your classes and exchange contact info. Oftentimes you are going to make more meaningful relationships this way than you would at a party, and even if you don’t quite hit it off, its always good to have someone you can contact about homework assignments.
Everyone here is friendly. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation.
Don’t get stuck going between class and your room everyday. Keeping busy will help distract you from getting bored or lonely, and it just gives you somewhere else to meet even more new people.
For instance, joining clubs can help you meet people who have similar interests to you. Going to University events can expand your network of people. Going to festivals and concerts downtown will help you meet people in Fort Collins, not just at CSU.
Concerts are usually pretty cheap and if you can volunteer you can most likely get in for free. You can always walk downtown and see the dates of concerts at The Aggie Theatre at 204 S. College Ave., or Hodi’s Halfnote at 167 N. College Ave.
Having a job or volunteering is a perfect way to meet new people and it also helps you gain experience for your future career.
Keep small reminders
Sometimes you just need to reminisce, and that’s okay. Keep a picture of home handy and Skype with friends and family. No matter where you go, it’s important to never forget where you come from. Just don’t dwell on the past too much. Make sure the present will hold just as many good memories.
Carry something that makes you smile
The simplest things can take you from a good mood to a bad mood. Be prepared at any moment by having something to counteract it. Carry around a bouncy ball, or some bubbles, wear an ugly hat or a funny t-shirt. It can be something silly or stupid — just as long as it puts a smile on your face or makes you giggle.
Your world can get really small when you move someplace new. Expand your internal map and check things out. Go for walks without having a destination, window shop in Old Town, hike up around Horsetooth, travel the bus system, discover more than the first floor of the library or simply eat at more than one of the dining halls around campus.
Being someplace new can be scary, and sometimes lonely, but don’t get stuck in a rut. Force yourself out of your comfort zone and have a good time. Before you know it, it will be Thanksgiving break, and you will want to go home with some good stories to tell.
Collegian A&E Writer Kedge Stokke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @KedgeStokke.