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By The Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "By The Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 by The Center for Academic and Accessibility Resources

2 What is homesickness? Starting university generates both excitement and anxiety about the move, studying and meeting new people. For some, this transition is quickly overcome as you adapt to a new environment; for others the transition takes longer and sometimes emerges as homesickness where you become preoccupied with thoughts of home. You feel shaken and lonely and you long for the secure and the familiar. Sometimes these emotions are completely overwhelming. Tasks that would normally have been easy, can suddenly seem quite a challenge, or even feel impossible without your usual framework of support.

3 Causes: The distance from home - the further you go the worse it maybe; A sense of anticlimax - you have finally arrived at university after working towards it for so long; Unhappiness when things are different to your expectations of student life; A heavy workload; Those who are homesick often feel they have no control over their environment, and that they are not identified with it or committed to the university or their place in it.

4 So what does research says about homesickness… 35 percent of beginning university students experience homesickness But as common as homesickness might be, it is important to recognize that homesickness comes in different shapes and sizes. For every 7 students who suffer from traditional homesickness, there might be 1 student who suffers from severe homesickness. between 5 and 15 percent of beginning students suffer from this more severe form. What is the difference between traditional and severe homesickness? Mostly it is a matter of duration and degree. Traditional homesickness is less intense, comes and goes, and eventually drifts away on its own several weeks. Severe homesickness is more intense, persists continuously and doesn’t seem to budge, even after weeks and months. Also, traditional homesickness, while distressing, isn’t debilitating and the student continues to meet people, make friends and function academically. Severe homesickness is debilitating, making it difficult to socialize and to function academically.

5 Seven signs of severe homesickness 1.The student says he or she is homesick. Most students will not hide or disguise the fact that they are homesick. He or she will make frequent references to being homesick, missing home and wanting to be back at home. 2. Crying. The student cries frequently in the context of missing home. 3. Doesn’t feel like himself/herself. The student reports that he or she doesn’t feel “right” or that he or she doesn’t feel like himself or herself. 4. Locked in. The student seems stuck or locked into being homesick. He or she can’t imagine feeling different.

6 Seven signs of severe homesickness (Con’t) 5. Duration. The student’s homesickness has persisted for more than two to three weeks. 6. Undermined functioning. The student withdraws from social opportunities. He or she is not making friends. The student is having trouble getting to class, paying attention in class and doing work outside of class. 7. Withdrawal. The student is seriously considering withdrawing from school as a result of feeling homesick.

7 What might help? Talk to someone. If you haven't yet made friends then try a tutor, supervisor, chaplain, nurse or counselor; Keep in contact with home but make a real effort to make new friends at uni too. Decide whether the best policy for you is to have frequent contact with home (because contact makes you feel better), or little contact (because contact makes you feel worse). Think carefully about whether or not to go home at weekends. Some students find it helps to ease the transition; others find the constant readjustment makes them feel worse; Try to establish a routine as soon as possible. The fuller your days are, the less time you will have to feel homesick or lonely; Remember to get enough food and sleep; Check this out: Give yourself time to adjust: you don't have to get everything right straight away. Nor do you have to rush into making major decisions about staying or leaving Make a real effort to join clubs/activities and to make at least one or two friends. This might feel very difficult, but the more you feel part of campus life, the less homesick you will feel; Be realistic about what to expect from your university and from yourself. Establish a balance between work and leisure: you are NOT expected to work ALL the time - you would soon burn out. On the other hand, if you don't put in enough time on work, you can very quickly get behind, which only adds to the stresses

8 More tips to help you through it now or in the future. Admit that you have it. Much of what you know and can rely on is back home. Homesickness is a natural response to this sense of loss. Talk about it with an older sibling or friend who has gone away from home. It takes strength to accept the fact that something is bothering you and to confront it. Bring familiar items from home to your new location. Photos, plants, even stuffed animals help to give one a sense of continuity and ease the shock of a new environment. Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Walk around. You will feel more in control if you know where buildings, classes, and services are. Invite people along to explore. Making friends is a big step to alleviating homesickness.

9 More… Plan a date to go home and make arrangements. This often helps curtail impulsive returns and keeps you focused on your goals in staying. Examine your expectations. We'd all like to be popular, well-dressed, well-organized, well- adjusted. Well, we're not. Setting a goal of perfection is the most predictable way of creating trouble for yourself. Laugh at your mistakes. You're learning. Seek new opportunities. As scary as it is to see all those people, all those classes, all those buildings, all those choices, they will provide opportunities to meet people who like what you like. Take classes that you're interested in and get involved in your favorite activity, or try new ones. Do something. Don't wait for it to go away by itself. Buried problems often emerge later disguised as headaches, fatigue, illness, or lack of motivation

10 Good news Homesickness recedes as students become more involved in and connected with activities on campus

11 Get involved! ther_clubs.php ther_clubs.php tudentlife/homesickness tudentlife/homesickness

12 Questions?

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