Oddly enough, I had zero feelings of homesickness my first semester of college. It was exciting for me to leave behind Colorado and start fresh in California, and the whole transition went smoothly. My roommates were incredibly welcoming, and I felt surprisingly productive by balancing school work and volunteering. 

But after returning to school after a month-long, stress-free winter break, it hit me. I missed home-cooked meals, late-night talks with old friends, not having to wear flip-flops in the shower, and sleeping until noon everyday. It's definitely tough trying to deal with these emotions, so here are some useful tips that helped me settle into my out-of-state college routine.

Understand That It's Completely Normal

cake, coffee, tea
Luna Zhang

When I first had feelings of homesickness, I tried to push them aside, telling myself that I was supposed to be independent. However, as I talked with my out-of-state and international friends, I realized that a lot of them were struggling with homesickness too. 

Starting as a college freshman in a foreign town is a huge change, and it's normal to feel overwhelmed and miss the familiarity of home. Talk to others about these thoughts, and you'll find that almost everyone has had similar feelings.

Get Involved Around Campus

pizza, beer
Luna Zhang

Go check out club socials, try out Greek life, or even pick up an intramural sport. Fun activities around campus will help keep your mind off home, and joining organizations that you're actually interested in is also a great way to meet people you're likely to connect with. Having a supportive group of friends that you enjoy spending time with can ease the homesickness.

Explore Your Surroundings

water, wine, beer, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

As tempting as it might be to crawl under the covers of your twin-XL bed and binge-watch Netflix all day, it won't let you become acquainted with the campus or city. Getting to know the place you'll be spending the next four years will make you feel a sense of belonging. The more comfortable you are in this new environment, the more it'll seem like a second home.

Allow Yourself to Stay Connected With Home

Danielle Chen

Completely severing communication with family and friends from back home can be isolating. You should allow yourself to catch up with everyone once and a while in order to remind yourself of the support you still have many miles away.

The key is to not go overboard with excessive phone calls and text messages. I've found that calling my family once or twice a week along with the occasional FaceTime with friends keeps me caught up with their lives without becoming too disconnected from my own.

College can be difficult to navigate on your own, and you might feel homesick once in a while. Just know that you aren't alone and that staying positive throughout these four years will make all the difference.