WT students overcome homesickness

Feature. Art by Chris Brockman.
Feature. Art by Chris Brockman.

Going away to college can be a bittersweet transition in a person’s life. It comes with saying goodbye to friends, family and classmates, along with the excitement of a new environment, new friends and a new start. For some, it also comes with homesickness.

Homesickness is a natural thing, and it can happen to anyone. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines homesickness as a longing for home and family while absent from them. When students are homesick, they also long for the friends and the familiarity they left behind.

Those who suffer from homesickness may think they are alone in their suffering, but they can take heed in the fact that they are not. Freshmen and upperclassmen alike are among those who experience homesickness while away at college.

Students who are suffering from homesickness may benefit from others who share their experience with it. Tori Stone, a senior Mass Communication major, and Brenden Huckabee, a freshman Biology Pre-Med major, spoke with The Prairie and shared their experiences with homesickness.

The Prairie: When did you experience homesickness?

Tori: I immediately felt it the second my parents left me at college. The thought of being by myself and being six and a half hours from my family bothered me.

The Prairie: What kind of homesick sentiments do/did you suffer from?

Tori: The thing I miss the most is just the functionality of my family. I am such a big family person that when I wasn’t able to see my family, it was hard.

Brenden: I missed my family.

The Prairie: When you were homesick, how often did you have contact with your immediate family?

Tori: When I was homesick, I contacted my family every time. If you ask my mom, she says I tend to call often when I am upset or missing home.

Brenden: I contacted them pretty often.

The Prairie: How did you overcome your homesickness?

Tori: I think making a home here was important. I had to make a family of friends and adults that I felt I could trust as much as I did my family. I had to immerse myself in the college life and make it my new way of life.

Brenden: I think contacting my family helped. I got involved in an organization and did stuff to keep my mind off of it and stay busy.

The Prairie: What advice would you give to freshmen or transfer students who are suffering from homesickness?

Tori: Jump in even if you’re afraid. Immersion is key. Find those people that you can be yourself around and feel comfortable around.

While friends, family and organizations help students overcome homesickness, Counseling Services is another place where students can go for help. The Counseling Services page on the WT website has a list of tips to help students prevent and/or overcome homesickness.