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I am trying to adjust to the whole college lifestyle but I am extremely homesick. Do you have any tips on how to enjoy college without being homesick?

#college #freshman

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ilene’s Answer

Hi Rachel, congratulations for getting into college. I remember how different it all felt when I first got on campus as freshman. The homesickness can feel overwhelming. I think looking back though, it was a mix of homesickness, feeling a bit overwhelmed, not having a routine and not having any friends yet. The good news is chances are it won't last. As you begin to settle into your new life and make friends, you'll find yourself concentrating more on what you're doing after class on Thursday than how much you miss home.


Here are some things you can do to ease into your new life...and its just the start of many times you'll find yourself doing this, so these are good tips for now and for that first job after you graduate, too! Look for friendly faces in the dorm, in classes, in the dining hall. Start conversations and kick-start new friendships. Figure out what organizations on campus are of interest to you. Depending on the size of your school, there might be lots to choose from, and one is sure to interest you. Go, even if you're feeling blue, and talk to other students with similar interests. If your faith is important to you, go to a service on campus or in town. Explore your new city and try to make it yours. Find a coffee shop and grab a cup of tea or coffee and start a conversation.


You can tell from my suggestions that you'll have to do the work of reaching out, joining in and making yourself feel comfortable and excited about your new life and new location. I'm sure your family is so very proud of you, although they'll be anxious too, the longer you are homesick.


Hopefully, you'll wake up one morning soon and realize you've been having so much fun with new friends and new activities that thinking of your family makes you feel happy not sad.


Best of luck to you! I have great faith in you, Rachel.



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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Rachel P. I see that you posted this question a little while ago so I hope my answer to you (or others who may read this response) is still helpful.

As I write my response to you in the year 2021, I can share that when I was in college, there was no such thing as "FaceTime", but if there was, I would have been a BIG user :). I was very, very homesick when I started my first two semesters in college. I kept in touch with family and friends back home...even after I began building friendships in college. It may be helpful to use phone apps that keep you visually connected, at least for a little while. Staying connected to people and places you know can ease your anxiety when you are in a new space.

In addition, the guidance provided on going out and meeting new people, getting involved in study groups or student clubs, can also be helpful. Even though I graduated some years ago, I still keep in contact with many of my ex-roommates...now I facetime them, anytime I need a pick-me-up :). Best of luck to you!
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Ken’s Answer

Develop a career focus and get involved with people who share your career interests. Also, talk to your academic adviser about things that he might suggest that will help you to become more involved in your college life to supercede your feeling about not being at home. If you feel depressed, and it is interfering with your college work and life, visit your campus counseling office, as they will able to work with you. They may even have groups that are working on the same issue, as a good way to overcome this common situation is to meet with others who are going through the same thing.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
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