Heading to College? It’s OK to be Homesick

HomesickThis week, as thousands of students head to college, many of them leaving home for the first time, bringing their hopes, dreams, goals, laptops, shower shoes and fuzzy slippers, they’ll also be bringing something else: their fears and worries. And that’s normal.

Although your child is 100% sure that they are the only one feeling this way, the fact is every single student is feeling the uneasiness of this transition.

And the uneasiness makes sense. Your role as a parent at this point is not to take it away (if you even could!), but to help explain it, normalize it, contain it and most of all, help your child understand that it is temporary and it will pass.

Homesickness is not really about missing home, as most students have been very ready on some level to leave the nest (and all the fighting with siblings, dealing with curfews and chores that it is feathered with) for a while now. It’s missing familiar things — the comfort of eating macaroni and cheese and knowing that it’s your kind of macaroni and cheese — with the elbows, not the shells. The familiar rhythms of the day; the faces and places where every one knows their name.

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Click here to read more about understanding and managing homesickness at any stage of life

Thank you for passing along these ideas to others who may really need them! Life is a collaboration. Here’s to less worry all around!

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tamar chansky phd

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