Question for Betty.

How can you help homesickness?

Betty's Answer.

Homesickness is a very common experience for college students.  One study documented that 75% of college students experienced homesickness at some point in their college career.  Homesickness is a yearning for something we have lost.  It is important to identify what we are missing specifically.  Sometimes what we are missing is a family member, friends, or the comforts and familiarity of home.  We can even miss smells from the place we have left behind.  Once we know what we are missing we can become proactive about taking care of ourselves.  It is important to write about what we are missing or tell someone we trust what we are feeling.

Once we have identified what we are missing, we are able to move forward with taking care of ourselves in the midst of our feelings of homesickness.  One of the most powerful ways to combat homesickness is to become involved in a new community.  This involvement is not a replacement for what we have left behind, but something new in terms of connection and experience. 

On the UAA campus there are over one hundred campus clubs which are a great place to meet new people with similar interests or become involved in a cause or activity which holds importance to us.  Additionally, the Cama-i Room, which means "welcome" in Yupik, and is located in the UAA Commons, is a wonderful place for students to be around others with similar cultural interests. 

More helpful information on this topic, can be found on the SHCC website where there is a link to a homesickness video featuring UAA students who give advice on this very topic.  Lastly, seek counseling support if you feel your feelings of homesickness are not improving.