One of the hardest decisions in your freshman (and even subsequent) years of college can be when and how often to visit home. Though decisions vary from person to person, I'm going to give you a few things to analyze before you make that decision. Remember that college is different for everyone, so these aren't fail-proof, but they may help you resolve your internal debate.
Most of IU's breaks are few and far between. Many people leave campus for these breaks, dining halls close, and buses stop or don't run as often. This makes breaks an ideal time to go home and catch up with your family and friends.
*Exception: Labor Day, which usually is the first weekend after schools starts, is really soon after school starts. Get used to your campus and your year by staying in Bloomington!
Everyone runs into hard times sometimes. It's okay (in fact, I one hundred percent encourage) to talk to your family and friends from home and try to figure things out. However, repeatedly going home isn't going to solve problems you are having at school.
Even though things can feel busy in Bloomington, taking that long drive home and back won't help you get more done. Going home not only takes travel time, but you also tend to spend a lot of time catching up with your parents, siblings, and friends. This doesn't leave much time to finish the paper you thought you were going to finish.
Last time I went home to get some homework done, I ended up picking pumpkins with my parents.
Sometimes it's perfect to go home and catch up with the people you miss. However, I'm going to give you a test/suggestion: try FaceTiming or otherwise communicating with these people before running home to see them. Sometimes all you need is a little conversation to encourage you and reassure you of their friendship. Also, if it's almost a break, see if you can wait it out.
You have a way to visit a friend in a different city? You know some people going on a camping trip to Brown County? Go for it! These kind of experiences are memories you will never forget. I promise you won't regret taking a risk.
A picture from when I visited Brown County State Park last year
Though I warned you not to run away from your problems, if you're having a really rough time and you just need some love, head home! There's no shame in going home every once in a while. Just try to not make it a habit. There's so much to experience in Bloomington, and the only way to make new friends and develop connections is to explore, engage, and live at IU!