Family 411: Adjusting to college
COLUMUBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - It's exciting for teens to begin their college career but even the most independent freshmen may find it tough to adjust to a new routine and homesickness.
Students cheer for these freshmen arriving at their dormitory for the first time. But it's an event that can be rough on the whole family.
Feeling homesick is part of learning to live a new life and it's normal to miss what is familiar and comfortable. "Probably the food," said freshman Grant Goodman. "Probably not as much fried chicken the same way here as it is at home."
Counselors say the most important step in overcoming homesickness is realizing there isn't anything wrong with you. "The homesickness might now set in until days or weeks later," said student activities director Matt Couch. "There is so much excitement at the start of the academic year."
Opening up to new friends can feel awkward. Look for common ground. Stay connected to home but not too connected.
These students bring the essentials to college, as well as some mementos. "Their favorite pillow. Their favorite comforter. Anything like that."
Moving in with people you don't know can be stressful. But it's also an opportunity explained junior Roslyn Rathbon. "Just having these friends in the dorm and everything was amazing. They became my family."
The number one piece of advice to fit in on campus is to get involved.
While some parents worry students may take on too much as they get adjusted to classes, the experts say look for new experiences. "It is absolutely true that the more involved you are, the more organized you are. Our involved students become more disciplined when it comes to prioritizing studying."
Students tell us they sometimes have bouts of loneliness at school. But they say it's important to focus on the positive. "I think Just be open minded. I know it can be very stressful moving in but once that part is over I promise it gets ten times better."
It is rare for homesickness to develop into something serious. Students say if you need help, don't keep it to yourself. Talk with a counselor or RA at your dorm.