You are meant to enjoy every second of college and feeling homesick can ruin this experience. However, homesickness is incredibly common and bound to affect a majority of first-year students.
If this is something that you do struggle with, though, you will want to know how long it will last. Here is your answer:
How Long Do College Students Stay Homesick For?
The exact length can depend on the student and their circumstances – on average, a college student may experience homesickness from anywhere between three weeks to over a year – it usually presents itself during the first ten weeks of the semester.
Why Does the Length of Homesickness Vary?
Well, how long homesickness lasts can depend on the student and their past and present circumstances.
For instance, a student that has close ties to their family or their home may find that they experience homesickness to a higher degree.
This is unlike someone who comes from a tough family situation and is happy to be gone.
The distance from your college to your home can count as well. If your college is in another state or even another country, then you also have to contend with a new culture, customs, food, etc. This means that you have even more to deal with.
Some students also adapt to college life more quickly. They may make friends, join clubs, and find it easier to get a handle on their classes. These individuals will start enjoying college life pretty quickly.
As a result, their homesickness will go away more quickly.
How Many College Students Experience Homesickness?
College is meant to be an exciting time in young people’s lives – it is their first foray into adulthood. Despite this, it is important to remember that for many students, this is their first time being away from their families, friends, and neighborhoods.
As such, it is only natural for them to feel homesick. In fact, it is estimated that up to 70 percent of first-year students experience homesickness.
It typically shows up in the first 10 weeks of school – usually before classes begin. Students don’t have much to keep their time occupied at this point. Therefore, their loneliness may feel compounded.
Can You Prevent Homesickness?
No, you have no control over how you feel! As mentioned, it is quite normal for you to feel homesick.
In one way, feeling homesick can actually be a good thing. It means that you come from a loving family and love the life that you had.
Although is nothing that you can do to avoid this situation, there are steps you can take to overcome it…
How to Overcome Homesickness?
The easiest way to stop being homesick is to actively engage in college life. Attend classes, meet new people, and try to fill your time.
The more occupied you are, the less time that you will have to miss your friends and family from back home.
In college, making friends can require a bit more initiative from you. There are so many students here that you may not automatically end up making friends as you did in high school.
Instead, go up to people, talk to them, and see if you are interested in hanging out with them further.
Clubs and organizations are a great way to meet like-minded people. If your college offers a fraternity or a sorority then you may want to think about joining up. These individuals can often become your surrogate family.
You can also try physical activities like going to the gym, working out, or joining a fitness club. Being engaged in exercise can be a great way to get your mind off your family and help with your mental health overall.
If you still appear to have too much time on your hands, consider getting a part-time job. It will keep you occupied and will also be a great way to meet new people.
Is It a Good Idea to Talk to Your Family While You are Feeling Homesick?
Absolutely! Talking to your family and other friends can be a great way to help you through your homesickness. Don’t worry, it isn’t going to make your homesickness worse.
Thanks to technology, keeping in touch with your family is easier than ever before. So, go ahead and schedule a video call with your family early in the morning or before you go to sleep.
If you live close enough, you may want to consider a trip home every now and then. Just make sure that it makes financial sense and that you don’t visit on weekends when you should be studying.
However, don’t spend too much time talking to your family and friends from high school. While they can be a great source of comfort, you don’t want them to take up too much of your college time. This should be reserved for making new friends.
Should You Worry if Your Homesickness Persists?
If it has been a few weeks and your homesickness isn’t going away, then it is a good idea to seek some help. Most colleges offer free mental health counseling – it is a good idea to take advantage of that.
Keep in mind what you assume to be homesickness may actually be depression or some other mental health issue. As such, it is best to figure out what is really going on sooner rather than later.
A counselor will also be able to give you various coping techniques to help you deal with your homesickness. As these will be tailored to you and your situation, they may prove to be quite helpful.
At the very least, it can feel good to simply talk about your feelings. A counselor can be an excellent sounding board if nothing else.
How Long Will You Feel Homesick for in College?
There is no set period for how long you will feel homesick in college but some students may experience it for between a few weeks to more than a year – there are plenty of ways to overcome it from making friends to joining clubs, and even getting exercise.