Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coping with the homesick blues

Posted by on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Before I left for RIT I remember telling my Mom that I would never get homesick. I thought I would probably come home once during the 10-week quarter, if at all. It wasn’t that I wanted to get away from my parents. I simply was excited to be on my own and make a lot of new friends.

But now that I'm in my third quarter here I would love nothing more than to be at home with my family. I like all of my classes but I spend a lot of my time alone in my apartment doing homework or other types of work. I miss being able to hang out and spend time with family.

There is never a particular time when I start to feel homesick, it just happens every few days. I’ve tried to follow some of the suggestions I’ve found online to combat feeling homesick. I’ve gotten out of my room. I’ve moped and let myself be sad for a while. I’ve tried to not think about it. But the thing I’ve found most beneficial is reminding myself that I’m surely not the only college student who’s missing home.

Lauren Reimondo is a freshman game design and development student. She said she often feels the most homesick right after a school break has ended. “I am a little sad for the first couple days after break but then I get back into the routine,” Reimondo said. “I just kind of focus on work.”

My sister, Jessica Bellardo, follows this same method of staying busy when she starts to miss home.“Usually I’ll try to find an activity to do, whether it be working out, going to the movies, going shopping or something like that,” Bellardo said.

For me, the first thing I want to do when I start to miss home is call my parents or friends. And while this helps me feel better for a few minutes it also makes me miss home even more.

This is probably the hardest advice I could try to follow. While it may be tough not to contact my family the second I start feeling homesick, if it works for others then maybe it will work for me. Reimondo agreed: She said that when she is feeling homesick she tries to avoid calling her parents. She thinks it will just make her homesickness worse.

That doesn’t mean things are easy on the parent side of things either, though. As parents of children suffering from homesickness there are many tips out there for how you can help. You can reassure your child, suggest ways they can get more involved on campus and let them know that you are there for them.

My mom’s best advice for parents would be to “send a care package of things that are their comforts from home.” Not only will this ease your worrying, parents, but your kids will love it (I know I love getting these in the mail!).

So for now I guess I’ll just try to use the methods of my peers. I’ll stay busy, distract myself and keep my fingers crossed that with time my homesickness will fade.

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