Dealing with Homesickness and Loneliness - Geneva College
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November 14, 2022

Dealing with Homesickness and Loneliness

“There’s no place like home” begins to ring true for many college students as they spend more and more time away from their families and more time on campus. Adjusting from living at home to living independently at college is huge. You are leaving the home environment that you have known forever, and it is not always the easiest transition, but know that you are not alone and feeling this way is expected.

Here are some tips offered by Staff Counselor at Geneva, Toby Shope, to keep in mind when you find yourself missing home or feeling like you do not belong on campus.

  1. Find People to Connect With

When you start to feel homesickness or loneliness kick in, find people to connect with. One of the easiest things to do is to feel the desire to isolate yourself, do not do this! Try clubs, groups, or having lunch with a new person each week. These things may not solve homesickness, but they will open the door to new opportunities.

  1. Tone Down Social Media

Many of us have heard the term “highlight reel” when describing people’s social media pages, and it is true! People are not posting the hard parts of their lives for everyone to see, so looking from the outside, it may seem like everyone else is thriving except you. The truth is, it is so easy to compare yourself and your experiences to others on social media, but none of it is real. Tone it down and limit the amount of time you spend on social media to prevent any more comparison from creeping in.

  1. Find A New Routine

A good routine goes a long way, but it is difficult establishing a whole new routine apart from the one you had at home. It takes time but working to create a routine that best suits your new schedule here at Geneva is worth it.

  1. Ask Yourself, “What do I have to offer other people?”

Shope recommends asking yourself, “What do I have to offer other people?” He explains, “There are other people like you, what do you have that you can give to them?” While taking time for yourself is important, it is so helpful to sometimes take your eyes off yourself and see what you have that others may need or could use.

Along with these four tips, Shope also recommends that students bring items to school that will remind them of home, even if it is something small! While it may seem like going home would be the best way to cure the homesickness you may be feeling, he adds, “I don’t encourage students to go home every weekend if you can. It makes it harder.”

“When it comes to missing home, one of the best things to do is to recognize that missing home is absolutely normal,” explains Shope. Believe it or not, there are more people than one would think that are in the same boat. It can be easy to stay back when friends you have met go out and do activities, but really push yourself to go out with them. Shope says, “It is amazing what spending quality time with others can do for a friendship. Before you know it, you will be sitting next to some of your best friends at graduation.”

Geneva College has resources available for those who feel homesick, like they do not belong, or just want someone to talk to. If you are feeling this way, you can reach out to counseling to here.

Shope also holds what is called “Creative Process” on Mondays from 4:30-5:30 PM in the pavilion outside of McKee. During this time, students get together and are given a word or phrase to focus on. Shope offers art materials to create something based on the word or phrase chosen for the day. About halfway through the time, Shope initiates a conversation about the process. He says, “It is a great way for people to create and enjoy and learn from each other.” If you are interested email Toby Shope at tlshope1@geneva.edu.

 

-Natalie Ray '23