A new year away from the comforts of home can mean big changes, and challenges, for college students. Whether you’re fighting homesickness or just fighting with your roommate, we have the tips college freshmen need to know to tackle any problem you face freshmen year and beyond.
Having a roommate can be one of the best experiences of your college years; you get to learn about new people and cultures, connect with other classmates and even potentially meet your new best friend. It can also have a downside. Roommates come with a lot a baggage, and not just the kind that takes up precious dorm space. You’ll have to learn to get along with different personalities, respect boundaries and even create a few of your own. But if things just aren’t coming together for you and your roomie, here are few things to keep in mind:
- Be respectful! Always ask before you borrow clothes, invite friends over or even stay up late studying or listening to music. Treating your roommate the same way you would like to be treated will help you avoid any conflict.
- Safety, first. It may seem silly, but remember to lock your doors and windows when you leave. Imagine if your roommate always left the door unlocked and a stranger walked away with your laptop? Not good. Now imagine if the situation was reversed. Really not good.
- Put down the phone. If you have an issue you need to work through with your roommate, it’s always better to do it face-to-face rather than through text. It helps to avoid any misunderstanding and miscommunication.
- Get a mediator. Don’t forget, you can always turn to help as a last resort. Your RA can step in and smooth things out, or even help you find a new roommate/dorm room if things are really bad.
But problems with a messy roommate might be your last worry if you can’t get over feeling homesick, especially during your first year at college. For most freshmen, college can mean moving out of the house and into a dorm. The first time away from family can be difficult. You’re out of your comfort zone and separated from the people who know you the best, but that doesn’t mean you should give up and go back home.
Try joining a club or organization. It’s a great way to get out there and meet new people. You’ll have the chance to connect with others who share your interests, are in the same degree program, or just try something new and fun. You can find a complete list of Westfield State’s clubs and organizations here.
It’s also important to stay connected with your loved ones, but in a way that’s healthy and allows you to grow. Instead of calling home everyday, set up a weekly call to fill your parents in on everything that’s happened over the past seven days. That way you’re still getting in quality family time, but also able to get out there and enjoy your freedom from home.
But if you’re homesickness at college is starting to feel like something more than you can handle alone, don’t be afraid to reach out. You can make an appointment at the counseling center any day during the academic year.
College means change, and a lot of the changes can be hard to deal with. But remember, a positive outlook is often the key to sinking or swimming your freshmen year.
For more advice, tips and tricks on how to make the most of
your time in college, check out our College Survival Guide.