A young man sits alone in the dark by his desk with his computer and phone lit by a desk lamp.

Whether it’s your first semester at CU Boulder or you’re moving back for the start of in-person classes, adjusting to campus life can be challenging. While this is a normal experience, the pandemic may make it feel like it’s harder to stay connected and feel at home on campus. Even if it’s not obvious, many students are experiencing similar feelings of homesickness and loneliness. Here are some helpful tips to cope.

Stay in touch

While you navigate life on campus and connect with new people, it’s important to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. Even if you’re attending different colleges or living in different cities, checking in and catching up can help you feel more connected. If you’re struggling, reach out to someone you trust and talk through it. Staying in contact with people we love can help us feel like we’re not alone, and it can remind us that we have people we can rely on in tough times. 

Put yourself out there

While physical distancing and hybrid learning can put a damper on making friends, it’s still important to get connected on campus. Start by getting to know your roommates, neighbors or classmates. Make plans to hang out in small groups, have virtual meet-ups and spend time together having fun. You can also get involved on campus by joining a student organization, signing up for an Intramural Sports league, attending events or forming study groups in class. Consider experimenting with different activities and groups, even if it takes you out of your usual comfort zone. It’s also important to check the current dial status to see the most up-to-date public health information and campus restrictions. 

It’s also important to remember that many people are struggling right now. Being inviting and inclusive can go a long way. If it looks like someone is uncomfortable in a group, help to break the ice by getting to know them and introducing them to others. 

Set a routine

Coming to campus and changing our class schedules often requires us to change our routine. While it may be different from what you experienced at home, establishing a daily routine can help ease anxiety and feelings of uncertainty. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to create a minute-by-minute schedule — a rough plan will do. For instance, set a reminder to complete your Buff Pass, consider taking the same route to and from your classes, plan to have your meals around the same time each day and create a morning or nighttime routine to help you get enough sleep (7-9 hours per night). Creating a routine, no matter how small it may be, can help you feel more in control of your day.

Get support

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling, you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources on campus that can help. Here are a few to check out:

Get involved

  • Volunteer: Is there a cause you’re passionate about? Meet other Buffs and give back to the community by volunteering! Check out opportunities to get involved through the Volunteer Resource Center.
  • Student events and activities: Student Affairs hosts hundreds of free events and activities for students and grad students every week. You can explore in-person, virtual and Residence Hall events on the Student Events page



Meet with a fellow Buff





Find support

  • Workshops: Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers a variety of free workshops that can help you manage stress, anxiety and more. Explore all of the CAPS workshops available online. 
  • Counseling appointments: If you or someone you know is struggling or feeling overwhelmed, Counseling and Psychiatric Services is here to help. Schedule an appointment to meet with a screening provider to discuss your concerns, explore your options, understand CAPS services and develop a care plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

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