Student sitting alone on the brick wall near Farrand Field.

Whether you're returning to campus or just starting out at CU Boulder, adjusting to a new schedule and new semester can be challenging. Even if it’s not obvious, many students are experiencing similar feelings of homesickness and loneliness. Here are some helpful tips that can help you feel better.

Keep 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 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 (even if it’s hard)

We know stepping outside your comfort zone can be challenging, especially when it comes to building relationships with other people. Start small by getting to know your roommates, neighbors or classmates. Make plans to hang out in small groups, study together or spend time having fun. You can also get involved on campus by joining a student organization, signing up for an Intramural Sports league, attending events or volunteering. If you’re a new transfer student, be sure to connect with other transfer Buffs by attending transfer student events. Try experimenting with different activities and groups to find what feels like the best fit for you.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many people may be 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. Remember that it’s okay if it takes time to build friendships. Starting small is the first step.

Create a routine

Coming to campus and adapting to a new class schedule may require us to change our routine. While it may be different from what you have previously experienced, 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, 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 connected with resources

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 undergraduate and graduate students every week. You can explore campus-wide, transfer student and Residence Hall events on the Student Events page
  • Wellness Wednesday: Enjoy free self-care activities, learn about campus resources and build community at Wellness Wednesdays each week! Come and go as you please to participate in activities or have a one-on-one conversation with an emotional wellness peer educator to create a personalized self-care plan. Activities are free and open to all students.
  • Feel Good Fridays: Join Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) for a free weekly workshop to learn about mindfulness and meditation. This guided meditation can help undo stress, soothe your nervous system and help you feel relaxed and revitalized. Meditations are open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. All are welcome and there is no need for past experience with meditation. Registration is required.

Talk with a fellow Buff

Find support

  • Let’s Talk: Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers informal drop-in consultations virtually and in person throughout the week. Learn more about Let's Talk.
  • Workshops: CAPS offers a variety of free workshops that can help you manage stress, anxiety and more. Explore CAPS workshops.
  • Screening appointments: If you or someone you know is struggling or feeling overwhelmed, Counseling and Psychiatric Services is here to help. Schedule an online screening appointment to meet with a CAPS provider to discuss your concerns, explore your options, understand CAPS services and develop a care plan that meets your specific needs and goals.
  • Mental health crisis: For urgent matters, please call CAPS at 303-492-2277 for 24/7 support. You can also visit the Emergency & Crisis Care page for additional resources.