Published: Sept. 9, 2019

A person standing on a bridgeIt’s common for many students to feel homesick, especially at the beginning of the fall semester. Even if students have been at CU Boulder for a year or two, they may still feel unsettled after being home for the summer.

While feeling homesick is not fun, it can get better over time as your student gets used to new surroundings, adjusts to a new semester and establishes friendships. In the meantime, here are some tips to help support your student through homesickness.

Become familiar with new surroundings

Finding places to call their own can help students become familiar with new surroundings. Encourage your student to explore their new environment, whether it’s campus or a new area they are living in Boulder. Suggest they find some favorite spots to get lunch, relax and study – places that are comfortable and feel like home to them.

Making friends

When it comes to forming friendships, many students feel nervous about initiating or organizing social plans. One strategy you can suggest your student tries this semester is to commit to making the first move. Encourage your student to be the first to introduce themselves when meeting someone new, or be the one to set up plans to hang out.

If they take on the responsibility of breaking the ice, it can help pave the way for new friendships. They could set up a weekly study group with new classmates, ask to sit with someone who’s eating solo in the UMC or organize a movie night with their roommate. This might take some effort for your student to get out of their comfort zone, but can lead to new experiences and better sense of belonging at CU Boulder.

Explore passions and interests

It’s never too late to get involved! Joining a club, student group or team sport can be a great way to find community on a large campus. Encourage your student to get involved by exploring their passions and interests. Do they enjoy sports? Politics? Crafting? Outdoor activities? Gaming? With hundreds of clubs, events and resources on campus, there’s something for everyone at every stage of their academic journey.

Stay in touch

Encourage your student to keep in touch with family and friends from home. Having a supportive community and people they can talk to helps during transitional periods.

Getting used to new environments and changes takes time. If at any point it feels like too much for your student, Counseling and Psychiatric Services offers workshops and counseling resources for students.