Homesick? See you on Skype

By Alexis Grant
Flapjack Chronicle staff

You planned your first time away from home beautifully. You checked out the campus and researched your dorm. You may have even called your potential roommate. But you didn’t count on being homesick.

It’s hard to leave home but every year 74 percent of Humboldt State students move to Humboldt from all over the country and the world.

The first way to deal with homesickness is to “know that your home is still there,” said Shawn Silverstein, HSU counseling and psychological services postdoctoral resident.

Many of these students, including students who have been out of the nest before, feel homesick. It’s a normal part of leaving for college. Everyone on your dorm floor is probably feeling it too.

Ashleigh Rodes, a fourth year sociology major, said that she didn’t miss home at first but eventually she did.

“It wasn’t until my third I began really missing my mom, my sister and my family members…It really hit me, I was like I do miss home,” said Rodes.

According to the American Journal of Pediatrics, homesickness is the grief and “functional hurt caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home and attachment objects such as parents.”

There are many symptoms of homesickness. They can either be emotional or physical. Common emotional symptoms are feeling sad, anxious, depressed or tired. You may want to leave school and go home.   Physical symptoms that are commonly felt are nausea, headaches or stomachaches.

“I found myself being shut in at home and not going out a lot, “said Rodes.

She finally decided to go home for a semester, which she later regretted.

    According to Silverstein, going home is not the best approach to dealing with homesickness but “planned and spread out visits” works best.

Maintaining relationships back home is a good idea but the best way to cope with homesickness is by have routines or schedules. Silverstein also suggested bringing a little bit of home with you or hanging up items from home on your dorm wall.

Maintaining relationships back home can be difficult. Modern technology is creating many easy and free tools to allow people to stay connected with family and friends while away at school.  Skype, a Microsoft computer based program, allows people make video calls over the internet.

Over 41 million people are using the program during peak times, according to Skype.com.

“Now with technology there are many ways to stay connected,” said Silverstein.

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