From the House to the Dorm — How to Handle Being Homesick

Girls in a dorm room

Hello again!

Lately I have been especially homesick. I miss my parents, I miss my best friend, I miss my aunt, I miss my cat… I miss everything.

It’s challenging to transition from living at home to living in a dorm for A LOT of reasons.

For starters, you don’t have your family around.

This is very weird at first. When you first start college, you feel like you’re at summer camp and you will be back home in two weeks. It’s very foreign feeling. You go from seeing your parents nearly every day to seeing only your roommate and the lunch lady everyday. And for me personally, I’m really close to my mom and my aunt, so moving away from home was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I also only get to see my best friend when I go home, and that’s really hard.

I miss her ALL THE TIME and I always wish she was here with me to experience everything that I do! Luckily, she’s transferring here next year, but so far, I’ve been feeling lost without her.

I’m also a foodie — I love food, I love to cook, I love to bake, and I REALLY love to eat.

Not having a kitchen has been really hard for me. Dorm food gets old so fast and depending on what you get, it can make you feel like crap. It’s also not super high quality, and it definitely doesn’t taste homemade. So it’s been an adjustment for me to not be able to cook my own food (unless you count Ramen made in the microwave — I don’t).

Another big adjustment is not having a car!

I personally love driving, and I miss my car so much! It’s weird to not drive anywhere; you just walk everywhere! My friend Courtney and I have this joke that we don’t feel like normal people anymore because we never get to drive! Being from Fort Wayne, a pretty big city, it’s weird to suddenly be walking to almost every place that I go. It feels weird to go home and have to drive places, and also to remember that I can’t haphazardly cross the street at home like I can here — Fort Wayne people aren’t used to stopping for random pedestrians!

I study A LOT MORE here than I ever did at home.

I think I’ve studied more this year than I did throughout all of high school. I was lucky in that I didn’t usually need to study to get good grades in high school. In college, you must study. Seriously. I study so, so much, but it pays off. So since I study a lot, I have less free time here than I did at home. I hardly ever watch TV anymore, and I was a TV watcher. Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, Criminal Minds, Chicago Fire… The list could go on forever. I don’t get to watch TV much anymore. It makes me sad.

Not having my cat here also makes me sad.

I love my cat. She’s awesome. Her name is Catdog. I’m still considering sneaking her into my dorm room… Shhhh. (Not really though, I don’t think my mom would let me get away with that one.)


How do you handle the homesickness? How do you successfully move from home to the dorm?

Talk to your parents regularly!

I talk to my mom on the phone every day, and I email my dad every Sunday. Keeping in regular contact ensures that they’re still in your life without actually being present. This can extend to other family too. I talk to my aunt a couple times a week, and I talk to my grandparents at least once a month.

Put in effort to stay in contact with your friends who aren’t at your school.

Trust me, when you start college, you will stay in contact with MAYBE ten people you went to high school with. Everyone goes their separate ways and meets new people. Everyone is now living pretty far away from one another. You have to work to keep up the relationships that you want in your life. I talk to my best friend almost everyday, usually through text, but sometimes we call each other. I make sure to send my other close friends from high school a text every week or so to tell them that I miss them and to make plans to see them the next time that I’m home. Always remember that friendships HAVE to be run by two people, so you have to do your part, and they have to do theirs.

Look forward to going home!

I’ve been home three times in ten weeks, and each time I go home, I have jam packed weekends with so many plans to see so many people in such a short amount of time! It’s so fun though; I look forward to seeing my family and friends, and of course I look forward to the home cooked food and not having to shower with shoes on! I also look forward to going home because I always make my mom or dad let me drive home from IU and back to IU so I can feel like a normal person for a few hours!

Have your parents send you pictures of your pets.

My mom sends me pictures or snapchats of my cat every once in awhile, and that always makes me laugh. This can especially make your day if you were really close to your pet!

Above all, focus on experiencing new things.

There are so many opportunities that you have in college that you DON’T have in high school. There are so many more opportunities that you have by living at a university away from home, too. Bloomington has SO many restaurants that you can go to with your friends, and everything is good. There are always so many events going on, too. You live on a floor with 50+ people who are strangers to you for a year. You have to walk or take a bus everywhere you go (unless you bring a car down). The party scene is a whole lot bigger. You can join Greek life. You can become part of an intramural team. You get to decide what your schedule is — when you go to class, when you eat, where you eat, when you study, when you sleep, etc. You’re in charge of you now! So even though you may or may not be missing home, soak up all the things that you would never experience in your home town!

Alyssa Modos

English Major, Future Book Editor, Class of 2018, Fort Wayne, IN

I'm an English major and Marketing minor with the dream of working for a Big Five publisher in the Big Apple. I'm obsessed with my cat, I'm newly addicted to pineapple, and I like to go running for fun. When I'm not at the gym, you can find me buried under blankets in bed watching The Walking Dead. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at my place; it's my own little "slice" (heh heh) of IU Traditions and Spirit. Follow me around online and through social media to get to know IU and how amazing it is. You'll get to know me, too -- I'm a pretty cool person, just throwing that out there. (: Be sure to check me out on Spoon University (where I write about delicious, life-changing food) and The Odyssey (where I write about a little bit of everything).