Photo of a dog waiting by a window in the rain.

Starting out at a new school can be difficult, especially if you are moving away from friends or family.  

Here are a few strategies you can use to overcome homesickness this semester. 

1. Keep a hopeful outlook

While it may not be obvious, many students feel homesick, even as transfer students. Remind yourself that it’s okay to experience homesickness, especially when you have said goodbye to familiar people and places. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that homesickness is temporary. Chances are that feelings of loneliness or homesickness will lessen as you get more familiar with campus life and the people at CU. 

2. Stay in touch

While you navigate life on campus and meet new people, it’s important to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. Even if your friends are 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 you love can help you feel like you’re not alone, and it can remind you that you have people you can rely on in tough times. 

Keep in mind that having a solid support system back home is important, but it also shouldn’t impede you from spending time or creating new connections here at CU. 

3. Establish a routine

Living independently, navigating a new place and juggling a potentially demanding class schedule may require you to change up your previous routines. In fact, finding a rhythm on campus can help ease anxiety and uncertainty because it provides more predictability day to day. 

Here are some easy ways to add routine to your day: 

  • Wake up and go to sleep at roughly the same time every day. 
  • Take the same route to and from your classes. 
  • Schedule regular times during the day or week to enjoy hobbies, get physically active or spend time with friends. 
  • Plan out your meals on and off campus. 
  • Find a new favorite spot to study or grab snacks while you’re on campus. 
  • Eat meals around the same time. 

Creating a routine, no matter how small it may be, can help you feel more at ease and in control of your day. 

4. Put yourself out there (even if it’s hard)

Making friends as an adult may seem harder than it used to be. It can feel intimidating to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. However, it’s important to remember that if you’re struggling to make new friends or ‘find your people’ here on campus, you’re not alone.

Here are a few ways you can work to put yourself out there: 

  • Be flexible. Sometimes when you’re in search of friends, there is a tendency to expect one person to have it all. However, it’s important to stay open to friends who meet different needs. For instance, you may find someone who is good to study with, while another person may be better as a confidant. 
  • Become a regular. Check out posters around campus or skim through upcoming campus events to find activities and groups that interest you. The more you show up, the more likely you will be able to connect with other students who are also regular, which can make it easier to strike a conversation. 
  • Focus on similarities. When first meeting people, it can be easy to focus on how they differ from you. This can make it more difficult to relate to people or find common points of interest. Instead, try to actively search for what you have in common, like personality, humor, interests or shared experiences. 
  • Be an includer. Keep in mind that a lot of people may be struggling to connect. Take this as an opportunity to be inviting and inclusive. If you notice someone in your classes or residence hall doesn’t have anyone to go to dinner with, invite them to go with you. Similarly, if someone seems uncomfortable in a group, help break the ice by getting to know them and introducing them to other people you know. 

5. Connect with resources

If you’re struggling to connect with others, feel lonely or need some extra help, try connecting with support resources on campus.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or needs urgent, same-day support, please call Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at 303-492-2277. You can also visit the Emergency & Crisis Care page for additional resources and support.


Transfer Buff Student Community

Find resources, events and opportunities to build community with your fellow Transfer Buffs on campus. 

Commuter Buffs

Do you commute to CU or live off-campus? Get involved with the Commuting Buffs Program to meet other students, access the commuter lounge and more. 

Peer mentors

Several colleges and schools at CU Boulder offer peer mentoring programs that provide students with the opportunity to connect with current and former students of their major. Check with your individual college or school for more information. 

Student events

Each semester, Student Affairs hosts hundreds of events, workshops and other opportunities to get involved. Check out upcoming opportunities to meet other Buffs and have fun on campus. 

Interpersonal process therapy groups

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provides free process therapy groups to help students improve relationships, find meaningful connections, learn how to be vulnerable, address social anxiety and more.

Peer Wellness Coaching

Meet with a trained student to explore ways to make friends on campus, set goals, create routines and make the most of your time at CU Boulder. 

Let’s Talk

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers free, drop-in consultations at a variety of locations on campus. Stop by to meet with a provider to discuss things like anxiety, relationships, academics, finances and more. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or needs urgent, same-day support, please call Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at 303-492-2277. You can also visit the Emergency & Crisis Care page for additional resources and support. 

Follow @CUHealthyBuffs on social for more tips, events and activites.