How to Handle Homesickness

Being homesick is never something I thought I would experience. I couldn’t wait to go away to college and start a new life. I’m not crazy about where I’m from, my life had recently gone through a lot of changes, and I knew that Miami was where I was supposed to be. Then I got here. When my parents left, it hit me that I was really doing it; I was moving into a dorm and away from them for the first time in my life. My dad is a HUGE crier, and seeing him cry did me in. I managed to hold it together until they left, and then gave myself a good 5 minutes to just lose it. I thought that the next day I would be fine and college would be the most amazing experience ever. Boy, was I wrong.

Admitting this is incredibly embarrassing, but for a good month I walked around campus literally holding in tears. I cried myself to sleep for at least two weeks straight (silently so my roommate wouldn’t hear of course). I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. I loved Miami, and college was supposed to be my sanctuary. I loved my major, the freedom, the school – yet something still didn’t feel right. I’m not one to easily admit defeat, so I pretty much kept my sadness to myself. I remember the first time I really let my parents see how bad it had gotten: my dad and I got in the car to go back to campus after Thanksgiving break, and I couldn’t keep it in anymore. I cried and told him how much I hated it and how much I wanted to leave. By the time I got back, I didn’t know what to do. I remember even researching transferring to a school much closer to home because I felt so lost.

Winter break happened, and again I didn’t want to go back. But this time, I had something to look forward to: rushing. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of joining a sorority, but it gave me something to focus on besides feeling out of place. Talking about recruitment definitely requires it’s own post, but after it was over I had found myself in a new home, surrounded by girls I had never met. I remember all I kept thinking was “what have I gotten myself into?”

Flash forward a year, and Miami is now my true home. My friends are everything to me, I’m doing well academically, I’ve done a lot of professional development, and I’m overall just really happy. I can’t say without a doubt what changed for me. Yes, joining a sorority made a world of a difference, but I think the bigger thing is that I never gave up. I knew deep down that I was meant to be at Miami. Because of that, I gave it as many shots as I could, just hoping that things would start to look up. I put one foot in front of the other and focused on the good things, no matter how small they may have been. I looked for the things that made me feel so comfortable there in the first place, and I put myself way out of my comfort zone to try new things. I’m so so grateful that I stuck it out and stayed here, because this year has been one of the best of my life and I can’t imagine not having experienced it.

If you’re feeling homesick, call your parents. Talk to your friends. Try something new, or try something comfortable to make you feel at home. Remember all the reasons you picked your school in the first place. And if nothing works, realize that there is no shame in transferring; people do it all the time, and you have to do what’s best for you.

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