Counseling Corner

Advice from the University Counseling Center and Peer Counselors

Mary Alice Russell

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Homesickness is a common feeling that students from all parts of campus face. According to Dr. Kirk Luder, a psychiatrist at the university Counseling Center, two out of three students report that at some point during their first year they have experienced severe homesickness.

These next few weeks can be difficult ones with the stress of mid-term grades, additional classwork and the nearest break being a month away. Thinking about friends and family back home make home seem further away than ever. Many students feel a similar way, but everyone’s experience of homesickness looks different. The feeling might come when you least expect it, or you might feel really homesick every day.

Dr. Luder recommends setting up a weekly time to call home. A scheduled time to talk with family members or friends can help you push through a difficult week.

Peer Counselor Alankrit Shatadal, ‘21, said connections with others are incredibly important to combating homesickness.

“I recommend reaching out above all,” Shatadal said. “Trying to process the feeling alone makes you feel isolated, but connecting with friends can help you start developing your ‘campus family.’”

It can be hard for international students to connect here on campus, especially when their friends visit home for the holidays or talk about things that aren’t relatable to their experiences. Shatadal has found some ways to make coping with her homesickness easier.

“For me, really simple things make homesickness easier to handle,” Shatadal said. “Speaking or watching something in the language we speak at home, or having a homemade meal or going to a campus event where food is served.”

Homesickness is a normal and natural feeling to have, especially if you have never been away from home for an extended period of time. However, if you or someone you know feels so homesick that they cannot complete everyday tasks for an extended period of time, please reach out to a peer counselor and/or the Counseling Center. We will embrace you with loving arms and help you get through this difficult time.

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