Oct 172004
 
Authors: Jennifer Johnson

Although Stephanie Poppe is currently a sophomore at CSU and has

adjusted to life away from home, it is difficult for her to be

separated from the familiar.

“It is definitely hard to be away from friends and family, but

calling them on the phone helps get me by,” said Poppe, a

psychology major.

The transition from home to college life may be a difficult

adjustment to make for many students, and feelings of homesickness

may interfere with daily life.

“I feel homesick about once a month,” she said.

While Poppe believes being away from home and meeting new people

can be stressful, she does not think students should let it get in

the way of daily activities.

“I think that if a student is motivated enough, feelings of

homesickness shouldn’t get in the way,” she said. “It is important

to stay in touch with family, but it is also important not to let

other things suffer.”

Jackie Nguyen, a senior staff counselor at the University

Counseling Center, said it is common for students to seek

counseling because of homesickness.

“Those moving away from home for the first time may experience

adjustment problems, which can create feelings of depression,

anxiousness, loneliness and isolation,” Nguyen said.

She said homesickness is most common among freshmen,

international students and non-traditional students.

“The UCC provides support to students who may be suffering from

symptoms related to homesickness,” she said. “We offer a safe

environment where students can share their feelings and know that

they are not alone. We also help students figure out ways to help

them cope with these feelings and come up with ideas on how to stay

in touch with their family and friends back home.”

Nguyen said homesickness can definitely get in the way of daily

school, work and social activities.

“If a student is not feeling well physically, then they are not

doing well mentally,” she said. “A student suffering from

homesickness is less likely to concentrate and be interested in

daily activities, make new friends or feel energized.”

However, Nguyen said there are various ways to help students

adjust to being away from home.

“Students should identify ways to get involved and make new

friends. Such things as joining a club, engaging in a campus

activity or connecting with professors and classmates, can help

create new relationships,” she said.

While homesickness may be common for many students, some have

adjusted more easily than others.

“The transition was pretty easy for me because I know that my

family and friends are not too far away,” said Joshua Mayles, a

freshman engineering science major.

Mayles is from Colorado Springs and said even though it is a lot

different living in the residence halls compared to home, he does

not often feel homesick.

“If I do start to miss home, I’ll just call my parents or my

brother and talk to them,” he said.

Although Mayles is not affected by feelings of homesickness, he

believes it can easily have an effect on other students.

“If a student is more focused on missing home, then they are

going to be less focused on schoolwork,” he said.

Mayles feels the loss of day-to-day contact with family and old

friends is hard, but building good relationships in college while

keeping contact with the past will help.

Nguyen agreed.

“A good idea is for students to put up pictures of their family

and friends back home and mix them with pictures pertaining to

campus life,” she said. “Finding a balance between relationships

back home and new friendships can help students overcome feelings

of homesickness.”

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