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: