The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Tips and tricks to help with homesickness

Cam’ron Hardy

As students settle into their schedules, they might start getting the sense that college is not someplace that allows them to escape their families and enjoy a life of freedom.

Students, especially freshmen, may be starting to experience the responsibility that college comes with. This might cause students to feel homesick.  

If you feel yourself longing for the familiar, you might be experiencing homesickness. Homesickness is the act of being uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. Therefore, a new environment like Eastern’s campus might make you feel a longing for home.

If you are experiencing homesickness, you are not alone. In fact, 69% of first-year college students experience homesickness.  

A presentation regarding homesickness was held in the Effingham room in the Union on Sept. 12. The meeting was led by Makayla Castle, a first-year grad student, and the mental health promotion coordinator. The presentation allowed students to learn new tips and tricks to help them with homesickness.  

The first tip Castle instructed is to make your EIU home or dorm feel more like your room at home. You can add pictures of your friends or family, bring cozy objects like a blanket from home and talk to your roommate about how you want your personal space to look and feel.  

You could also simply explore the campus and Charleston itself. Getting out of your dorm will most likely help when feeling homesick. Just taking a walk or driving could make a difference in getting familiar with the new habitat. Using the Panther Shuttle when needed can also help you discover places you like.  

Castle also encourages students to get involved in something they enjoy. Think about what you did in high school. If you participated in a sport or club, then it is almost guaranteed that Eastern will have an RSO in place of it. If you go to a search engine and type “EIU RSO,” you can explore the wide variety of organizations around campus.  

Students experiencing homesickness might also assume that it is better to cut off ties with their families. However, it is healthier to keep in touch with people from home. In order to catch up, you could call or video chat with home.

Castle also stated that she was very homesick during her freshmen year of college. She even transferred from Eastern to ISU after her first semester as a sophomore to get closer to home. She shared her own strategies to help stop her homesickness.

“I was the person who would stay in my dorm with a ‘leave me alone’ attitude, so when I started opening up in class and during floor meetings, I realized that, okay, I could do this,” Castle said.  

Castle also stated that she and her best friend at the time became pen pals, to combat homesickness. Her friend was still in high school when she was a freshman, so they would write letters to each other. This might sound cheesy at first, but it is fun to see an envelope in your mailbox! 

Homesickness can become a serious issue for college students. Keep a mental record for yourself and figure out what is normal to you and what isn’t; if you need help, stay in contact with people on campus who are willing to help. The Human Services building and counseling clinic are great resources to go to when looking for help regarding mental health.  


Jacob Adcock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Jacob Adcock
Jacob Adcock, Reporter
Jacob Adcock is a freshman English education major. This is his first year at The News.
Cam’ron Hardy
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

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