The effort of overcoming homesickness

Homesickness. Many of us have felt it.

During my senior year of high school, my friends, family and ward members told me that I would get homesick when I first went to college. I think it is safe to admit that I didn’t believe them.

I can also admit I was wrong in my initial belief.

Homesickness can come in different moments after coming to college, and I clearly remember mine. It was the second day of Get Connected, and amidst all the activities, I felt alone.

I missed my family and friends, and I craved to talk with someone I knew.

Sometimes we feel weak when we miss something seemingly simple like our families. That’s OK. Families are eternal, and it’s natural that we miss them.

“We are made up of the stuff of eternity,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Endings are not our destiny.”

I am on the Fall/Winter track, and I didn’t have the chance to go home for Christmas my freshman year.

I am here at BYU-Idaho across the country from my family — as many of us are — and it took time adjusting to knowing my mom wasn’t physically around to talk with all the time.

My dorm room was decorated and finished, but it was not full of memories like my room at home. My roommates were friendly and sweet, but they were not the friends I grew up with and who knew everything about me.

I had to make my own decisions more often, and the thought of it terrified me.

Then, after realizing I wouldn’t be going home for seven months and an afternoon of having a pity party, I made a decision: I was not going to let myself be homesick.

That’s right.

I filled my homesick feelings with plenty of calls to my mom and somewhat regular Skype calls with my family. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I was not going home, I worked hard through my first two semesters and looked forward to going home.

Even though I had a seemingly good plan, I learned that homesickness isn’t completely avoidable. That’s OK. Everybody takes the adjustment to college differently. Some take a couple weeks, and some take a couple days.

Some days will be perfectly OK, and others will seem like everything is crashing down at once. It’s a part of life, but we can overcome it.

One way to overcome your homesickness is to continue your family traditions. Things such as cooking favorite meals, having Sunday dinner or singing Christmas carols can be done by yourself or with your roommates. Doing something familiar can help you remember your friends or family.

Another way to overcome your homesickness is to talk to someone who is also homesick. Having someone to talk to is comforting because they are in a similar situation. There is an unexplained sense of belonging when you can relate to someone through homesickness.

So, go give your family member, parents, friends or whomever else a phone call. Chances are, they miss you, too.

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