Homesickness is a common and normal part of moving away from home, but it can seem difficult to deal with at times. It can be frustrating to deal with at times. The good news is you can work through it a bit easier when you use resources that are on and off-campus.

To help you out, here is a breakdown of what homesickness is and how to work through it.

Homesickness as a feeling:

Homesickness is a feeling of loneliness or distress from moving to an unfamiliar environment. You may feel overwhelmed with so much change happening at once. It will likely take a couple of weeks to get used to living in the residence halls, but there are ways to manage homesickness.

Alongside the feeling of homesickness, you may also feel relieved, excited, or optimistic, which is completely normal as well. You are starting a new chapter of your life that brings in new opportunities and new beginnings. You have the world to explore with your newfound freedom!

Five ways to cope with Homesickness

1. Call Home

This one may seem obvious but call home every couple of days and update your family and friends on what you have been doing. Getting updates on what your family and friends have been up to will help ease the feeling of being disconnected from loved ones while you are at college.

2. Make Friends

Making friends helps a ton while trying to deal with homesickness. It helps take your mind away from missing out on hanging with those you moved away from and it helps you focus on your new life on-campus.

3. Get Involved

Go to campus events, join a club, or go explore to find a favorite spot around campus. This will help you create memories and give you a reason to stay on campus because you have made other commitments than just going to class.

4. Try to avoid going home for the first month

It may be hard but consider staying on campus for the 4-6 weeks of the semester. This trick helps you get comfortable in your new living environment quicker than if you were to go home every weekend. It also is a terrific way to save gas.

5. Talk with someone

Talk with your RA. They are a great first step into finding things to do around campus and getting connected to other students. They can offer advice, support, or resources that can help you overcome your homesickness.

Remember you are not in this alone, other students are dealing with homesickness as well! Try talking with another resident on your floor or a classmate about how they are dealing with homesickness.

If you feel you need to talk to someone else, Winona State has professional counseling services right here on campus! Counseling Services is located in the IWC, room 222, or you can call to set up an appointment at 507.457.5330. You can also contact Counseling Services by email: Best of all, WSU Counseling Services is free for students.


Authored by Meg Johnson, ’24