Tips for conquering homesickness in college

300 dpi 1 col x 3.25 in / 52x83 mm / 177x281 pixels Chris Ware color illustration of a homesick college student crying and grasping a picture of her family and pets. Lexington Herald-Leader 2001
(Chris Ware / Tribune News Service)

For a typical freshman in college, the first day of school is a bit emotional. Meeting your new dorm mates or settling into an apartment marks an entirely new experience. The overwhelming excitement of finally going away to college is often met by nostalgia for family, friends and old memories —homesickness.

“I was most homesick right when I left for school,” said Haley Moles, a sophomore.  “Saying goodbye to the people I knew my whole life was unreal. Not to mention, living in a place that’s not your home can be very nerve wracking and uncomfortable. It was just really sad to see the simplest parts of my past 18 years, like seeing my mom when I came down for breakfast every day, come to an end.”

According to, 95 percent of college freshmen feel homesick at some point during the year. While succumbing to homesickness you may feel alone, remember that many of your fellow freshmen are likely experiencing the same thing.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are not immune to homesickness either. Many students spent the summer at home and must immerse themselves into their college environment once again. Getting accustomed to a new environment, or becoming familiar with an old environment after being away, can be challenging. Here’s what you can do to ease the process:

Make your new space feel like home.

Plain dorm or apartment walls can become instantly more homely by hanging up old pictures. Bring your favorite parts of your bedroom to college with you, whether it is a fuzzy beanbag chair or a colorful desk lamp. By bringing a piece of home along with you, it will be easier to feel comfortable, no matter how many miles away you’ve travelled.

Find the right balance.

While you may be inclined to Skype your parents every day for the first couple months, it is important not to let your home life hinder your process of engaging in your new environment. Make sure to give mom and dad regular phone calls, but make sure you’re dedicating plenty of time to participate in the DePaul community.

Amber Anderson, a sophomore, found her own method of comfort. “I combat home sickness while away at school by texting or face timing my family and I surround myself with positive people that distract me from that homesickness.”

Get involved.

DePaul has a wide variety of activities available, from numerous clubs, to on-campus jobs, to various activities in the student center. On a thriving college campus in the city of Chicago, there will always be plenty to do. Make the most of your college experience by taking part in the variety of events available.