Homesickness by Kaylee Kellum


Thesis: What is homesickness? What can college students do to relieve homesickness?

Why is homesickness important to college students?
Many college students experience homesickness at some point in their college career. This is most common in freshmen because they are leaving home for the first time and have to learn how to be independent. Homesickness is completely normal. College students need to know how they can cope with being homesick so it doesn't affect their school work. Also if a friend starts acting differently they know the symptoms and can help them cope with it. Students just need to realize that being homesick is very normal and they are not the only ones being affecte
d by homesickness.

I: What is homesickness?
a) Definition
b) Explain
II: Feelings and symptoms of homesickness
a) Physical
b) Psychological
III: Factors of homesickness
a) Experience
b) Personality
c) Attitude
d) Family
IV: Articles
V: Ways to relieve homesickness in college

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I. What is homesickness?
Homesickness is the distress and functional impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation and attachment from things like parents. It is also defined as recurrent cognitions that are focusing on home and the stressor is the separation from home. Also when a person is sad and depressed from a longing for home or family while away from them. A person wants familiar things like family, friends, pets, and their house. People start to feel this way and they want familiar surroundings because it is a sense of security and comfort. A person experiencing homesickness will feel like they are all alone and they have no one to talk to. Homesickness is when people feel uncomfortable with their surroundings. Homesickness is completely normal and most people experience it sometime in their life.

II. Feelings and Symptoms of Homesickness
When it comes to homesickness the symptoms are mostly psychological but there are also some physical. Some physical symptoms are getting headaches, crying, have trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. The most common physical symptom of college students is the lack of sleep. College students tend to not get very much sleep without being homesick, so if a student is not sleeping well because they are homesick their grades could suffer. Homesickness could get so bad for some people and they could have suicidal thoughts.
Psychological symptoms are more common. Some include yearning for home, feeling lonely and sad constantly, lack of motivation, depressive thoughts, and mood swings. A person will feel like going home constantly and feel like they are stuck where they are. Isolation from people is normal because people feel lonely even if there are others around. Loneliness also relates to sadness. Feeling lonely makes people sad and makes them want home even more. Another symptom is lack of motivation, a person will just want to sit and not do anything, just relax. Having depressive thoughts is a common symptom. Because a person is away from home and they don't think they can do anything they become depressed. The last symptom is mood swings. It is common for a person who is homesick to have mood swings often. One moment they will be happy and the next they will become sad. These symptoms are all how a person is feeling,

III. Factors of Homesickness
There are four different factors of homesickness including experience, personality, attitude, and family. First, experience away from home. The more time a child experiences away from home when they are younger the less likely they will experience homesickness. For example, a 6 year old who spends a lot of time away from home would be less likely to become homesick than a 10 year old with less experience away. Also if separation experience was negative than separation in the future will most likely be negative. Second, how does personality affect homesickness? An insecure attachment with primary caregiver is the factor.This happens mostly when a person is in a new social setting where they don't exactly feel comfortable yet. Also people become depressed in the months leading up to the separation if they know it I coming. This is a big deal with new college students. Third, attitude about homesickness. Homesickness is believed be about negative first impressions and low expectations on new environment but sometimes these are just self-fulfilling. A lack of social support for college students will cause homesickness. Sometimes the thought of being homesick will actually cause a person to become homesick. Last, families impact on homesickness. This mostly occurs when a caregiver pushes a child to spend time away. This makes the child feel less decision control. If a family member expresses anxiety over the separation the the child will be more likely become homesick. People need to have time to process their thoughts so they don't have a high risk of being homesick.

IV: Articles about college homesickness
1. Homesickness students need help from universities
This article is about how the university or college can help a student with homesickness. It states that colleges should provide a warm, fun, and relaxed orientation for new students to connect with other students and become familiar with the campus. The authors say colleges need to teach students to cop by talking to someone, getting involved, thinking positively, and making new friends. Also advisers should be available for new students to talk to and help them get into the college routine. Students should also try to visit and think about what they would like to get involved with before they show up and move in. This helps with them being stressed out. Parents should encourage their students to spend time away from home because this could make them more homesick. Students can stay in contact, but shouldn't go home all the time.
Jack Grove. Homesick students need help from universities, study says. Retrieved from

2. When has homesickness gone too far?
This article starts off talking about a girl who went off to colege and became homesick, but that wasn't all that was wrong she ended up having cancer as well. It talks about a few things that are normal when it comes to homesickness and what isn't normal. First, feeling blue for eight weeks is normal but if it lasts a whole semester that isn't good and there could be another issue along with homesickness. Second, it is normal to look at a high school yearbook and call friends back home to try and help not feeling homesick. Isolation from all people to relive the past is not normal. Last, a little change in eating, sleeping, and behavior pattern is normal. when a person goes off to college a few things in their lives are going to change a little. Eating and sleeping a lot more or less than normal is not good for a person and is not a normal symptom of homesickness. Also behaviors such as skipping class is is not normal.
CB Staff. When Has Homesickness Gone Too Far? Retrieved from

V. Ways to deal with Homesickness

The first thing a person has to do to deal with homesickness is realize that this happens to many people and is totally normal. Feeling homesick is part of learning to be independent and starting a new part of a person's life.
  • Bring home to school
    • Put pic
    • tures of family, friends, and pets up where you can see them to remind you they still love you. Bring a blanket or stuffed animal you sleep with at home.
  • Keep in touch
    • At first call home or video chat several times a week so they know they are missed but after awhile try to limit.
  • Make friends
    • Making new friends helps with knowing you have support other than your family. This also helps if you are lonely.
  • Steady your returns
    • Try not to go home that often. Pick days in advance to go home so you have something to look forward to.
  • Be honest
    • Don't ignore the symptoms of homesickness because it could lead to more serious problems such as depression.
  • Get involved
    • Try new activities you never thought you would do. This is also a way to meet new people and get your mind off home.
  • Talk to someone
    • Talk to your RA and friends and tell them how you are feeling.

Activity- Are you homesick?
Click on this link and take the quiz to see if you are homesick.

external image sev-rebecca-not-homesick-blog.jpg

Homesickness affects many people of different ages. This affects college students especially freshmen because they are trying to become independent and leaving home for the first time. There are many symptoms a person can look for with homesickness. Many things can help a student going to college with feeling homesick and making the transition smoothly. Students need to understand that homesickness is normal and a lot of people go through this.

Christopher A. Thurber, PhD, Edward Walton, MD. Preventing and Treating Homesickness. Retrieved from

Ruth Nix. How to reduce Homesickness in College Students. Retrieved from

Bidisha Mukherjee. Homesickness Symptoms. Retrieved from

Zhina Jalali. Signs and Symptoms of Homesickness. Retrieved from

Janelle Drew. Homesickness hits students hard. Retrieved from