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The Hoya Way to Dealing with Homesickness

By Julia Temple SFS'25

Are you feeling homesick? Me too. Let’s talk about it together. College is a big transition for everyone. After you’re dropped off, there are suddenly 8,000 new people to meet, an unfamiliar place to navigate, and new classes each with their work. Maybe you’re even applying to clubs or sports teams. All of this can turn overwhelming if you let it pile up. Though I don’t have much experience to speak from (it is only my first month here!) I'd love to share some tips I’ve been using and some advice I’ve gotten.

1. Maintaining stable self-care routines

No, I don’t mean going to the gym for three hours every single day- unless that’s your thing! Whenever you’re not taking proper care of yourself, everything seems 10x worse. Suddenly, that two-page paper seems like a 12-page paper. Self-care can take many different forms.

Physical self-care can look like going on a walk or a run, eating three meals a day, getting eight hours of sleep, or even staying hydrated. I’ve found that going on short walks and runs helps clear my mind and allows me to be more efficient with my day.

Emotional Self-care activities help you channel and process your emotions, like journaling, mindfulness, or speaking to a therapist (See CAPS for more information on free counseling). Otherwise, these emotions can bubble up at the worst of times. Check out psychology today to find a therapist that accepts your insurance.

Organizational self-care, like cleaning your space, doing laundry (have you washed your sheets in the past two weeks?!), organizing your Gcal (see more information in this article!), and going grocery shopping can prevent future stress and get your mind off of things.

Incorporating even one of these ideas into your routine helps to cope with change and develops healthy habits, whether it be grabbing coffee every Sunday morning at Uncommon Grounds, spending five minutes a day meditating (see apps like Calm or Headspace), or doing your skincare routine every night.

2. Limit reaching out to home too much

One mistake I made in the first few days was to facetime my parents every time I had a problem or I missed them. My parents have always provided comfort and a sense of security. But calling them and seeing their faces constantly pulled my attention away from making new friends and establishing a new home here. I’m not saying you should never contact them. Try texting them instead of FaceTiming next time, or make a list of things to tell them on a notes app on your phone so they won’t miss out on your life.

When I think about what I miss from home, I think of the known routine, the established social norms, the stability, the predictability. Homesickness feels like a loss of these things. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, you may find yourself missing home more than you thought you would have. Quarantine forced many of us to grow accustomed to spending every hour of the day with our families. Coming back to college is a huge adjustment from that, no matter who you are. My parents remind me that though it isn’t the same, they are still there for me whenever I need them- just a phone call away.


3. Surround yourself with fellow Hoyas

Instead of calling home, ask that girl in your bio class if she wants to grab lunch! Reaching out and making new connections can help you form your new home here. When you feel sad, ask yourself what you need. Maybe that means talking with someone you trust about your feelings. You’d be surprised by how many people can relate to you when you discuss how you’re feeling, and maybe you’ll make others feel more comfortable sharing too.

But if you think talking about your home will make it worse, spend time with friends doing other things. Walk to grab insomnia cookies or sit in lau 2 and do work with someone else. Sometimes laughing is the best cure to what you’re feeling. Building new friendships takes time so don’t be surprised if the relationships don’t instantly feel the same as friendships at home. After a year of virtual connections, your social battery may be smaller than it was before and while you shouldn’t force yourself to be social all the time, you should build in time in your schedule to relax and hang out with new people. You can build community (and hoya pride!) by going to the soccer games, becoming a tour guide, or just by expressing gratitude for Georgetown in your journal.

Additionally- do not compare yourself to others on social media. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but Instagram is a highlight reel. People don’t post pictures of themselves crying or document when they’ve had a bad day. When you let someone’s feed paint a picture of how their college experience is, you miss all of those more human moments. Comparing yourself to friendships, experiences, picture-worthy outfits of others, etc, creates a toxic mindset that is impossible to live up to. Do yourself a favor and scroll consciously.

4. Find new places that feel like home on campus

Carving out places that feel familiar can help establish a new routine. Do you really like coffee? Get to know the baristas at the MUG or Compass coffee. Become a regular at Yates Field House’s Zumba classes, or visit your professors during their office hours. This will not only give you something to look forward to but develop a sense of belonging.

Decorating your room with personal items can also make your room feel more like home. Put up a few pictures of you and your family, maybe add a poster of a band that you like, some cute pillows, and/or string lights! This can also fall under the environmental self-care category. When your space is clean, organized, and personalized, you will feel more comfortable and at ease.

5. Time

Don’t give up on yourself. Though you can do every single thing listed above, at a certain point you have to accept that big adjustments take time. There isn’t one right way or one specific timeline. I know I can get overwhelmed with big picture thinking, so I use a planner to ground myself in today without losing focus on upcoming assignments. As the semester progresses, your routine will develop and you will find your rhythm. In the meantime, give yourself the space and time that you deserve.

At the end of the day, we are all going through this together. If you want to discuss this further or have any great tips, please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts in the comments section below or dm us at @thehoyaway on Instagram! You will get through this, one day at a time. As Dory from Finding Nemo says, Just keep swimming.


Julia is a freshman at Georgetown in the School of Foreign Service, originally from Massachusetts. She works at Hoya Snaxa here on campus. Outside of school, she runs a custom hoodie business (@hoodiesbyjulia) and enjoys playing with her goldendoodle, Jolie

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