“I hate it here and I want to come home…”
“I don’t know anyone here…”
“I don’t fit in…”
Each student adjusts to college at their own pace and may face different challenges. Homesickness is a normal part of the transition. First-year students are undergoing major adjustments in many aspects of their lives, and home represents security, comfort and how things used to be. Calling or sending care packages is one way to ease the transition. It lets your child know they are missed and still a part of the family. However, contact too frequently can be detrimental because it does not encourage the student to venture out or may be interpreted as “smothering.”
Encourage your student to get involved in campus activities and organizations, attend floor/house events and meet people. On a campus of more than 21,000 students, no one will be completely isolated and alone; it may just take time to meet others. If your student does not know where to go to meet people, the resident assistant on the floor can be a great help in facilitating introductions. Students who stay in their room all the time or go home every weekend may actually prolong their adjustment period. Your student needs to give college a chance and allow some time to develop a sense of what it means to be part of WMU.