Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tips for combatting first semester homesickness


By Christina Ausley | Staff Reporter

The University of Alabama’s student population is now 53 percent out-of-state, so it is no surprise a handful of students may become a tad anxious or homesick at some point throughout their time on campus. Even for in-state students, college can be a big change. For any unsettled student missing home, however, we’ve compiled a list to lead you one step closer to embracing your home away from home.

Be proud.

Regardless of how far you may have traveled to begin this next chapter in your life, starting college away from home is no easy feat. Congratulate yourself for pushing your boundaries since the day you packed up your bags and made the journey to Tuscaloosa. Whether you know it or not, you are becoming one step closer to being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Despite all the adjustments you may have made or may be making over these first few weeks of college, allow yourself to be prideful in your decision to follow your dreams outside of the comfort of your first home and family.

 Be engaged.

Simply put, this campus is your canvas. Find your paintbrushes – your classes and professors and roommates and surroundings, your opportunities to join clubs and teams and service projects throughout the community – and start painting. Allow yourself to miss your hometown and family every now and then, but push yourself to engage in the many new outlets and relationships presenting themselves here. At the end of the day, you’ll create a masterpiece.

Be present.

It is easy to get caught up in many of the concerns of college, but it is important to practice being where your feet are. Keep your ears and eyes open as an influx of new information hits you in your dorm, your classes and most importantly, the people around you. The more present you become, the more likely you are to meet new people in classes and clubs throughout campus.

Be reassured.

You are not the only individual experiencing these concerns and worries. You are not the only student who may feel a little out of place or out of step. A variety of students feel and experience the exact same things you do, so do not think your worries set you at any kind of displacement or disadvantage. Acknowledge the fact that other students your age are also in a completely new environment who may or may not have a single familiar face to chat with on campus. Feel welcomed, welcome others and most importantly feel as though you belong at the University of Alabama, because you do.

Be active.

The University of Alabama provides a vast array of opportunities, regardless of your major or personality. Be active in immersing yourself in the outlets of campus. Get On Board Day, next Tuesday Sept. 5, is a great place to start, as nearly every group and club on campus comes together and advertises their purpose and welcomes new participants. Seize those opportunities, and you will more than likely find yourself with more than one niche to click with. 

Be open.

Acknowledge your concerns and worries about being in a new environment away from home. After you acknowledge these apprehensions, feel comfortable talking about these fears and uncertainties with your family, your friends, your professors and the campus counseling services. There are more than enough open and active ears around campus to help put your concerns at ease. Embrace them and be honest with yourself when it comes down to what is running through your head during these first few months of school.

Be prepared.

You will more than likely have some low points and high points as you start a new chapter in your life. Be prepared for both. When you hit a bumpy road, be just as ready to drive as you would on smooth pavement. Establish a support system, whether that be your family, roommates, clubs or other students from your hometown who have also chosen The University of Alabama as their home away from home. This way, when you do hit rocky roads, you’ll already have a handful of other passengers ready to keep an eye on the wheel.

Be a goal-setter.

Allow yourself to be excited about something in the future. Embrace the present, but also challenge yourself to push toward a certain goal, whether that be making new friends or joining a new club. The more goals you set and the more challenges you embrace, the more rewarding the experience will be.

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