Are you having a challenging time finding your place here at Loyola? Are you missing home? Home is a special place and feeling sad is a normal response to being separated from the people, places, things, and overall culture that give you a sense of belonging. Most people feel homesick at some point in their lives. For those of you who are missing home for the first time in your life, you may feel a bit overwhelmed or inadequate. Remember that everyone has their own tolerance for change, and it may take a while to get adjusted to an unfamiliar environment like college. There are several things that you can do to cope with homesickness.
NOTE: If insensitivity from others or discrimination because of your identity is contributing to your difficulty adjusting here, it is very important that you seek assistance immediately. Please go to Who am I?/How do Others View Me? for specific advice and recommendations. Insensitivity to others and discrimination in any form is inconsistent with Loyola’s mission and values and will not be tolerated.
What You Can Do
- Remember that missing home is normal and not a sign of weakness.
- Talk about your feelings with a family member or friend who had a similar experience. Seek out other people who may be having the same experience right now. It takes courage to accept the fact that something is bothering you and to confront it.
- Create a “home away from home” by including familiar items from home such as photos, plants, and even stuffed animals in your new dorm room or apartment. This may provide a sense of continuity and ease the shock of a new environment.
- Familiarize yourself with your Loyola surroundings. If you know where buildings, classes, services, etc. are located, you will feel more in control.
- Establish a routine as quickly as possible. The fuller your days are, the less time you have to feel sad or lonely.
- Check out Loyola's Student Engagement, ALANA Student Services, the Women's Center, Spectrum, or Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ) to learn about organizations and clubs that are here to offer support and help students from various backgrounds get connected.
- Stay in touch with friends and family from home - make sure they know how you are doing and what they can do to support you.
- Check out Baltimore to see what type of opportunities there are to connect with like-minded others - are there groups of similar identity that get together? Restaurants that serve food from home? Barber shops or salons that would understand your needs? Cultural events of interest?
- Examine your expectations and be realistic. Do you expect college to be an extension of high school? How often do you expect to hear from parents or friends? Do you expect to instantly make friends? Remember friendships take time to build.
- Seek out new opportunities. Is there a certain club that you would like to join? Becoming a member of a group can be a fantastic way to meet other students who have similar goals, values and interests. College is an ideal time for you to “reinvent” yourself.
- Keep a journal to record your feelings. This can be an effective way to get your feelings out, rather than keeping them bottled inside.
- Volunteer for a community service project. Oftentimes, reaching out to others who are different from you or less fortunate helps not only to get your mind off home, but also provides you with perspective on how fortunate you are.
- Challenge yourself to be adaptable and flexible. These are essential skills for success in the “real world” and are paramount to adjusting to an unfamiliar environment.
- If you see others who do not appear to be missing home, be aware that they may experience delayed homesickness.
- While you likely have become accustomed to parents and teachers providing you with structure and motivation, it is now time to become more autonomous and self-motivated.
Still in need of things to do? Or in need of other sources of support? Consider:
The Counseling Center located in Humanities 150 is open M-F from 8:30am until 5pm (EST) and closed when the university is closed. If you would like to make an appointment with a counselor, schedule an appointment online, stop by our office, or call 410-617-2273.