For many teenage girls, college is a time of newfound freedom. While this can bring about feelings of excitement and anticipation, it can also trigger homesick feelings of isolation and fear. For some girls, homesickness is so overwhelming and intrusive that they pack their bags and move home.
An important part of college preparation is preparing to deal with homesickness. Girls need to learn how to process and cope so they aren’t tempted to take dramatic action and end their college experience before it really begins.
Homesickness is Normal!
Homesickness is a common experience for new college students. Assure your teenager that feeling homesick is normal and that she is not alone. Remind her that these strong feelings will come and go and teach her how to ride the waves and practice self-care. Find supportive outlets so she knows where she can turn if she’s feeling overwhelmed.
Managing Difficult Feelings
Feeling homesick can be stressful. Before leaving for college, make sure your teenage daughter has a few practical techniques to manage homesickness, along with a plan for staying connected with friends and family. Help her personalize her living space with familiar items or photographs that provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. Additionally, encourage her to keep busy and actively participate in school or community offerings. This can create a sense of belonging and serve as a healthy distraction from homesickness.
Colleges and universities offer a wide range of resources to support students during the transition period and help manage homesickness. Encourage your daughter to explore counseling services, support groups, or campus clubs and organizations. These avenues can provide a supportive community where she can meet peers who share similar experiences and find guidance. A life coach can also provide emotional support and teach your daughter effective ways to navigate homesickness and transition successfully.
Like all challenges, homesickness and change are opportunities for personal growth. By helping your daughter recognize that feeling homesick is natural and giving her the tools to manage her feelings, you can empower her to navigate the challenge.