Effective remedies for combating homesickness

Emma Knudson, Staff writer

As an out-of-state student, I know that feeling. After months of being away from home, and with Thanksgiving break so close yet so far away, home feels like the only place you want to be right now. Even Oregon students can relate: no matter how close or far away your home is, you can still feel homesickness.

Homesickness is the equivalent of getting ready for the day only to find that every single pair of your underwear is dirty. At that point, there really isn’t much you can do, and whatever option you choose, it’s pretty uncomfortable. Only with homesickness, there isn’t much you can do to alleviate that sense of uncomfortable hollowness. Or is there?

Throughout my nearly four years of being a Linfield student in Oregon while being a Montana native, I’ve come up with some ways to cope with homesickness.

Calling your family and using Skype is a pretty obvious one. I’m sure that everyone does this, especially in times of desperation when all you want is your mom’s home-cooked meals. But setting a time each week, every two weeks, or any regular schedule that works for both you and your family will help alleviate that sense of loneliness. When you have that connection home to look forward to, it makes the weeks go by faster.

Another way to cope with homesickness is to have keepsakes from home in your dorm. These may be posters, picture frames, baby blankets (no judging here). When I’m drowning in schoolwork, sometimes I’d like my only concerns to be if the snacks after recess are going to be those long crackers with the melted cheese on the side for dipping. Or my baby blanket wasn’t in the washing machine when I got home from preschool. That’s all I cared about in those days.

Homemade gifts, mugs, jewelry, and a baseball you caught from the baseball game in your hometown, etc. Decorating your room with these items might make your dorm room feel more like home.

Another tactic is to keep yourself busy. If you find yourself homesick often, you know that it often hits hard when you’re laying in bed watching Family Guy while eating a bag of microwave popcorn and scrolling through Instagram only to see one of your close friends in a picture with his or her dog, which makes you miss your dog, which makes you miss home.

But I know that, in times like those, the best thing I can do is pick myself up and do chores around my house, or ask a friend to hang out downtown, or go out for a run. A good balance should keep your homesickness relatively at bay.

Just know that home is just around the corner. No matter how close or how far away from Linfield your home is, time passes and you’ll find yourself back home before you know it. But don’t wish your college years away for the next opportunity to go home. Because when you finally go home after years of being away, and all you did was miss home and try your best to return, you might regret not spending more of your time in the present moment. Take your college experience day by day, and make the most of your college experience.

But you’ll be sitting at home on Christmas Break, listening to your mom and your siblings arguing, suddenly kept inside by your parents’ strict curfew despite the fact that you’re 21 years old, realizing that you’re so far away from your college friends, and ready to return back to Linfield. Trust me. Coming from my personal experience, you’ll be beyond ready.