Almost everyone you meet will tell you that college is the best time of your life. Regardless, the first few months away from home can undoubtedly be the hardest time. Homesickness is not just exclusive to first-years, as it is a common feeling that most college students go through when living in a new environment.
As a freshman from Cali now attending college on the opposite corner of the country, I’ve had my fair share of homesickness. Here’s what I’ve learned.
1. You should, and CAN, find delicious food
Honestly, there really isn’t cooking like mama’s cooking. Coming from a strong Korean background and always having lots of delicious home-made meals, I knew I would struggle with eating on campus. What I have learned is to try something new.
For maybe the first time in your life, you are going to be surrounded by people from different backgrounds with interesting traditions and habits. Your mama’s cooking will still be there when you get home. In the meantime, step out of your comfort zone; that’s what college is for.
2. Travel — you are not stuck
Even if you are in the mountains of Vermont like me, there is always a way to get out and change your pace. Call an Uber, take the bus, go for a walk — you can find all kinds of neat eats, and you might just be able to find some food similar to that of home if you take a look around. Plus, adventure happens when you leave the house. You never know what you are going to find.
3. It’s time to learn how to cook
You may make some rookie mistakes when you start out, but it is never too late to learn. If you are hit with a serious case of the blues, take a crack at your mom’s secret recipes. Try and organize a homemade dinner with your friends. Get creative and improvise with what you have access to. Need some inspo? To start, check out these no-bake peanut butter cups you can make with dining hall ingredients only.
4. Stock up… not even joking
Some foods can be difficult to have shipped. To avoid finding yourself in a crisis, stock up on your favorite things that will last. My top recommendations for Korean food are instant Korean ramen, microwavable rice, and salted dried seaweed. Check out the top 10 rated Korean ramen here.
5. Wait it out
When all else fails and you’re still suffering from food homesickness, patience is the key. Sorry, but let’s face it, you won’t be able to do anything but wait until you can go home. There’s no use being miserable, so in the meantime, try make friends with people who miss the same foods as you. Turn your homesickness into a fun passion. Consider hosting cooking events or even creating a new club with people of similar food backgrounds or interests.