For most prospective students, going to college means stepping out into the world on their own for the first time, which also means it’s the first time they might experience homesickness.

Homesickness “is the longing for home or family while away for them for a long time,”, according to dictionary.com.

As an out-of-state student coming from a small town in Vermont, I don’t go home that often. The only time I’m able to go home is during mandatory vacations when I’m not busy.

Even though I enjoy being away from home and being truly independent, I still frequently experience feelings of homesickness.

I go through stages of longing where I miss my parents’ hugs or their encouragement. Sometimes I simply miss my bed, not having to share a bathroom and the excitement on my dogs’ faces when I come home for a visit.

My homesickness seems to happen most when I don’t have anything to do, even though that doesn’t happen often anymore.

If you are ever feeling a touch of homesickness, the best remedy I can suggest is to surround yourself with people you care about.

If I’m missing my family, I make it a point to be social with the people I care about. Being around people whom I connect with helps me feel less alone.

If you can’t find anyone to hang out with when homesickness strikes, you can always delve into a good book or search through a streaming service for a movie or a show to binge watch. You can also find a hobby or anything you enjoy doing that can get you away from your current state of mind.

If all of the above are unavailable options, then you can try some relaxation techniques. These include: various breathing exercises, taking a hot bath or shower, listening to music and doing yoga.

Walking around town, visiting shops and treating myself to a hot beverage on a cold day all help me escape feeling lonely, especially if I have company.

When all else fails, the quickest way to sooth the loneliness is by calling all the people you miss. Even just sending a simple text can help relieve some of your homesickness and make your loved ones very happy.

If you miss them, then they miss you at least twice the amount you do. You miss them because you’re not home, but they miss having you home. They miss asking you how school is going and making sure you’re eating enough. They miss you while they are watching shows, talking to friends, picking out clothes before they go to bed and right when they wake up. They can’t escape the fact that you are not there.

They might like having the house be one person less loud and not worrying about cooking dinner and showing their best face, but they also miss the loudness, shared dinners and everything in between.

No matter how homesick you are, just remember you’re a phone call away from the people who are also missing you.

Email Abby Talcott at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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