Your car is all packed, you’ve kissed your dog goodbye, and have taken one last look at your bedroom for what seems like it would be a while. You’re headed to Allendale for your first semester at Grand Valley. Butterflies fill your stomach and questions run through your head. What will my hall mates be like? Will my classes be hard? When you’re all settled in, you say goodbye to your parents who are choked up with pride and sadness seeing their baby grow up. And then poof, just like that, you are on your own. The hustle and bustle of classes, activities, and new faces keep you distracted for the first few weeks. And then it hits you, homesickness. You long for your bed, your mom’s spaghetti, and driving your own car back home. We all have been there, but here are some tips to make this transition to college a whole to easier with a few simple tips.
Tip #1: FaceTime someone who reminds you of home
There is truly nothing better than seeing and talking with someone who is miles away and puts you at ease. Talk to your parents about your day, and don’t forget to ask them how their’s was too. Chat with a friend from another school, and compare your first few week stories. This will definitely feel like they are right there with you.
Tip #2: Stay busy
Get active in clubs, intramurals, greek life and much more. GVSU has so many clubs to choose from you are bound to find something you like. Having something to do will help you feel comfortable around campus, meet new people, and take your mind off of home.
Tip #3: Hang pictures in your dorm room
Hanging pictures in your room reminds you of who is important in your life. Some of your best memories from summer or high school were probably captured in a picture and to have those pictures make the people you miss feel that much closer to you.
Tip #4: Take opportunities to make new friends
Make an effort to talk to the people you sit by in class, go to your hall floor events, and don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone. College is all about meeting new, interesting people. You will learn a lot not only about them, but about yourself. New friends are great to do fun things around campus and make many new memories.
Tip #5: It is ok to be alone sometimes
Take it from someone who constantly thought they had to be with someone at college, it is OK to be alone. Time to yourself is sometimes what you need to regroup or relax. You don’t always have to go eat with friends, or go out every weekend. Turn on some Netflix, find a good book, or simply lay in bed. Time by yourself is a lot more valuable than you think, and it is perfectly ok to need it.
Overall, college is such a transition whether you commute or live on campus. Everyone gets homesick, but remember that you’re only a phone call away. Take college as this opportunity to find yourself and see just how life is on your own. It is a great learning experience and one that will set you far ahead for your future.