Battle the Homesick Blues

by Meghan O’Neal

You’ve moved into the dorms, said goodbye to your parents, and survived your first week of classes. After the whirlwind rush of the beginning of your new chapter in life, you finally have some time to wind down. And this is when the homesickness hits you like a toddler on roller skates.

Leaving home is hard, and whether you ventured to MSU alone or you came with a group of buddies,
sooner or later you’re going to ache for some sweet home cooking and a hug from mommy. It’s something everyone goes through after leaving home. When you start to feel down, here are some tips to keep the homesickness at bay.
Keep Busy
You’re in college, man. Left with no parents, no curfew, and a new sense of freedom, the only thing holding you back is your disturbingly light wallet. Never fear; the school provides more on-campus activities than you can possibly attend specifically designed to get you out of your dorm and meeting new folks. I know many of you may think that you’re too cool to attend an ice cream social in the basement of South Hedges. You’re not. Remember, the majority of the people in your dorms are looking for friends just like you. And what better way to meet someone than over a school-provided ice-cream sundae?
There are also many inexpensive activities off campus where you and your new ice-cream-social friends can go and get to know the town. Come to the Bozeman Bowl on Monday nights for cheap bowling and, for those of you over 21, cheap drinks. The place gets hopping, so be sure to get your lane early.

Explore Bozeman. You now live in the greatest town in the country. Get to know it. Don’t have a car? The Streamline Bus goes all over town and is completely free. And, of course, there is always the vast outdoor playground – and you don’t have to travel far to get there; the Main Street to the Mountains trails system is right off campus. Our motto isn’t “Mountains and Minds” just for kicks. Try a new outdoor adventure. The Outdoor Recreation Center offers rentals, classes, and general information on Bozeman’s outdoor activities. Drop by and try something new.

You do yourself no favors pining for home while drowning yourself in a bucket of half-melted Moose Tracks alone in your dorm. Get out, stay active, and you’ll soon forget all about your homesick woes.

                                                                Keep in Touch
Skype with family and friends to keep in touch

Now that you’ve established yourself in your new home, it’s important to keep in touch with those you’ve left behind. I’m not saying you should keep your nose attached to your phone while you text every kid you had a class with your senior year, but it’s important to maintain a connection with your besties back home. Plan group Skype dates once a week to swap college stories. Call your parents on the weekends to let them know what’ s going on. These connections are important and give you the boost you need in order to get through the week.

Keep Your Door Open

I know you’ve probably heard this from just about everyone, but there’s a reason. Keeping your door open shows that you’re willing to get to know your floormates. Remember, the majority of the people in your building are going through the same things you are: trying to meet new people, establishing their friend groups, and becoming comfortable with their environment. Don’t drop an opportunity to make a new friend. Even if you don’t become best friends with everyone who stops by, you will become more acquainted with the people you live with and gain a friendly reputation rather than getting a knock on your door because your RA hasn’t seen you in a few days.
Homesickness is difficult, and it’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed. You have to work hard in order to establish yourself and make Bozeman your home. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself pining for the Bridgersevery time you visit Mom and Dad, but until then, it’s okay to feel sad and scared and generally miserable. If you find your homesickness to be unbearable, there are resources to help. Visit the Counseling Center above Student Health Services. They provide free counseling for any student going through anything from slight homesickness to serious depression, so be sure to drop by whatever the need.