Student sitting alone on the brick wall near Farrand Field.

Whether it’s your first semester at CU Boulder or you’re moving back to campus, adjusting to life away from home can be challenging. While this is a normal experience, the pandemic has left many of us feeling disconnected from the people around us and campus in general. 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 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 (even if it’s hard)

College often requires us to get out of our comfort zone, 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. 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 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, 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 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 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

  • Peer Wellness Coaches: Peer Wellness Coaches are trained students who can help you make friends on campus, explore resources, set goals and make the most of your time at CU Boulder. Schedule a free appointment with a Peer Wellness Coach.
  • Buffs Discuss Substance Use: Talk one-on-one with a trained undergraduate student intern to  gain a deeper understanding of your relationship with substances. This program encourages students to talk with and support each other in their relationships with alcohol and other drugs. Email to learn more or register.

Find support

  • Let’s Talk: CAPS offers informal drop-in consultations virtually and in person throughout the week. Learn more about Let's Talk.
  • Workshops: Counseling and Psychiatric Services (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 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.