This semester is looking significantly different than when it started not too long ago. As we adjust to rapid changes, it’s normal to have feelings of homesickness. You may still be living on campus or living apart from your friends or family. It’s important to remember that many students are experiencing the same feelings and we are in this together. Here are some tips to help you support yourself and each other.
Stay connected. It’s normal to feel homesick, especially if you’re away from those you’re closest to during stressful times. One way to cope with homesickness is to keep in touch with your family and friends. Whether you’re at home or on campus, make a point to text, call and video chat with your loved ones on a regular basis. It can be helpful to keep a regular schedule for keeping in touch. For instance, make a plan to call your loved ones each day at a specific time or pick a consistent day of the week to catch up.
Volunteer if you can. If you’re young and healthy, you may also consider volunteering. This can help you connect with others and your community as a whole. Students who are in Colorado can sign up to join the COVID-19 Volunteer Response team. Volunteer positions are available in person and online. The team is currently looking for people to help share reliable information, provide virtual support, deliver food, medication, and medical supplies, and help with daily tasks for people who live alone. You can also find other volunteer opportunities through the Volunteer Resource Center’s page.
Practice self-care. Engaging in self-care can also provide relief for homesickness. Make time to get outside, meditate or practice deep breathing, stay active and look forward to reconnecting. You may not be able to spend as much time with your loved ones in-person right now, but continue to make plans for the future. Think of trips or activities you want to take with friends or family once the storm has passed and begin planning together.
Supporting each other
Check in. Many of us will experience varying degrees of homesickness during this time. Even if it looks like someone is adjusting well, they may still need support. One way you can help is by reaching out. Whether it’s a new acquaintance or someone you’ve known for a while, check in on them periodically to see how they’re doing. You can also invite them to participate in online activities like watch parties, games or other social events to help them feel more connected.
Encourage them. It’s also important to remind them (and ourselves) that it’s normal to feel apprehensive about change. Encourage them to engage in self-care and reach out for help if they’re feeling overwhelmed. This may mean reaching out to their professors, connecting with family or scheduling a virtual appointment with a counselor.
If at any point it feels like too much or you're concerned about a friend, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers walk-in appointments online. Schedule a session by calling 303-492-2277.