Dealing with Homesickness

By: Claire Wei (she/her/hers), Peer Success Leader 2019

Read time: < 5 minutes

I believe I'm not the only person who has set a countdown app for Thanksgiving break. Although it seems like all our tests and projects are due right before Thanksgiving because we only have one week left after the break, we're all still really excited for this half-week off that we get to spend with our families, friends, and puppies/kitties.

As college students, we all think that we're somewhat “adults.” While complaining about the bills that we have to pay and the laundry that is waiting in baskets, we sometimes cannot help that we miss living with our families. Going back home for Thanksgiving is a perfect getaway from all the stress of “adulting” and our upcoming finals week.

Many of us will have some difficulties adjusting back to the right academic mindset, which can be important when we need to have the right attitudes to deal with countless projects and finals before the winter holidays.

Moving from China all the way to New Orleans at the age of sixteen, I still remember crying in the airport because I had to leave the people that I love so much behind. Although I was very excited for the new adventure ahead of me, I could not control the tears on my face. Experiencing homesickness for the first time at such a young age, I eventually learned how to transfer the homesickness from a distraction to a motivation.

See my tips below for focusing your mind on school when you're missing home.

Give Yourself Some Time to be Sad but Remember to Move Forward

Sadness is not going to be much help when you have six finals to study for. However, no one can just get over homesickness immediately after hopping onto the returning flight. On the first night coming back to campus from home, facetime your families and tell them you are back to your room safely. But after this one night, adjust your mood and move forward.

Get Out of Your Room

I always make sure that I have a planned schedule for after I come back to campus. Staying in your room all the time will not help you fight against homesickness. Fill your day with constructuve activities and plans. Go to your professor’s office hours, schedule an appointment with your TA, or take a study break with friends. Socialize! It will make you feel better. 

Balance Your Life and Get Plenty of Rest

While everyone is stressed about the upcoming finals week, make sure that you eat healthy and get plenty of rest. Getting back to your Tulane life and routine can prepare you better for the challenges, either academically or socially. Just remember that all nighters and coffee only diets are not the answer.

Remember That You are Never Alone

You will never be the only person that struggles with homesickness. If you are having a hard time getting over these feelings, talk to someone and search for support! Tulane has amazing counseling services that are open to every single student. Use the services and get the right help from the right people. Although your families and friends may not be able to be by your side all the time, they love you and want you to be the happiest person in the world.