- Posted June 09, 2017
One of the big first steps most of us will take on the road to adulthood is moving out from our childhood home for the first time. For many of us (those on DormIQ in particular…), that means leaving home and moving into a college dorm. It is both exciting and terrifying at the same time, and no matter how independent you are or how well you do being alone, being away from those things that home been familiar to us for so long: places, family, friends, and routines for the first time is never easy and takes some adjustment Feelings like stress, loneliness, homesickness, and anxiety are common to all first-year college students living in campus housing, so guess what…you are not alone!!
College is a time of self discovery, stepping outside your comfort zone, and is the place where many of us make some of our most long-lasting friendships and relationships. So here are four quick tips to help you get through the adjustment period as quickly as possible so you can move on to making the most of your college years living away from home:
There is nobody to push you to do anything in college…it is all up to you to motivate yourself to get out there and take advantage of all your school has to offer. This can be intimidating, but the good thing is that college is basically setup to make this as easy as possible! No matter what your interests, you can be guaranteed to meet other people with the same hobbies on your campus. Joining student groups are a great way to meet new people in an environment of shared passions. Also, show up to your floor meetings and make an effort to meet the other people on your floor! Finally, most dorm complexes have some sort of community-wide event (a carnival, competition day, etc) that could be a great way to meet people who live in your dorm. Your school also probably holds larger campus-wide events of the same nature. Find out whats going on and make the effort to attend!
Put Yourself Out There
Related to the first point, but simply showing up to an event is not an event. Participate, put a little bit of yourself out there for people to see. If you’re shy, this can be particularly difficult. One good strategy to make yourself more comfortable is to narrow your focus - rather than seeing a room or event full of 100 people, narrow your focus to only see small groups of 3 or 4 people. Another tactic is to give yourself a goal, such as “I will talk to 3 new people at this event.” These tactics can help make an intimidating room seem much more manageable, and setting and meeting small goals will help build your sel-confidence. And remember: You are not the only one feeling this way!!
Bring Home to the Campus
Just because you are far from home, doesn't mean you need to completely forget about it. Bring something to campus with you that reminds you of home - a picture, a moment, or even a stuffed animal. Anything to help you remember where you came from and where you will always be able to get back to, even if you are 500 miles away.
If you are getting involved in groups and events, classes and studying, chances are you are so busy you wont even have time to think about how much you miss home! Fill your downtime pursuing things that interest you, and use the time away at school to grow who you are as a person. Take an extra computer science class, go see a guest speaker on a topic you’re interested in but don't know much about, or volunteer for a worthy cause. There are so many choices.
The bottom line is that living away from home can be tough. You'll miss your family and friends and your old routine. But university life can offer so much - New knowledge and ideas, new experiences, new friends, and new opportunities. Take adavntage of them as much as you can, and you just might find your homesickness isn't quite as bad as you remember