A CLU student guide to living away from home

For some, living away from home is an exciting experience. For others, it’s nerve wracking.

Bouts of homesickness can plague students who are living away from their parents for the first time. It’s normal to miss mom’s home-cooked breakfast and dad’s nostalgic stories.

After living with the same people for your entire life, it’s not that uncommon to miss them.

Homesickness can come from a struggle to adapt to a new environment as well as the realization that family life goes on once you leave.

“It was hard at first. I didn’t really talk to anyone so I stayed in my room and played videogames,” junior Myles Moore said. “I was in tennis, so that was my way out of my room. It made me keep my mind off the fact I missed home.”

Students shouldn’t feel bad about being homesick. People have different ways of coping with change. According to the University of Cambridge’s counseling site, “For some, this apprehension is quickly overcome as they adapt to a new environment; for others the transition takes longer and sometimes emerges as homesickness where there is a preoccupation with home-focused thoughts.”

International students as well as those who live farther from home may be more prone to homesickness. The University of Cambridge’s counseling site also states that “vulnerability to being homesick is affected by distance away from home.”

“It’s like being disoriented and not being able to talk to someone for support. When I first came to America, it was a big culture shock,” junior international student Abhi Sridharan Vaidehi said. “It was very uncomfortable.”

The CLU website offers a few tips on how to combat homesickness. One way to do so is “to build meaningful relationships here on campus.” Homesickness can stem from the need to feel useful and established in a new environment; making friends can help.

For students who wish to form relationships, they may find CLU’s online Hub page useful to figure out what’s going on around campus. Bulletin boards around residential halls are often decorated with flyers for various events. If students wish to meet people with a similar hobby or interest, a club may be a great place to start.

Another listed way on CLU’s website to help with homesickness is to journal.

According to CLU’s website, “Journaling can be very helpful, if it is done the right way. Writing down thoughts and feelings about starting college can help you better understand your moods.”

Dealing with homesickness alone can be difficult for some students. Student Counseling Services on campus is a free and valuable resource for students who would like someone to talk to. Services are confidential and worked by a licensed psychologist and post-doctoral fellows.

For students who feel like they may need more assistance with homesickness or other matters, appointments are available by telephone or in person, Monday-Friday from 9-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. To reach Student Counseling Services, call (805) 493-3727.

For students interested in  events on campus, check out The Hub online at callutheran.edu/thehub.


Berlin Galvan
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 16, 2013