The following tips, originally posted at the Studentawards Forum, were contributed by students in our membership.
Q. I’m super nervous about leaving home … Any tips on coping without family/friends? (posted by: stacey555)
Get involved during frosh week, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends then. And I would suggest not making a habit of going home every weekend, you’ll miss out on things that happen during the weekend at school. (posted by: inthemaking)
Be involved! It’s really important that you take part in Frosh week activities. It’s the most effective way to make friends during the first couple weeks of being away from home. I am a fairly quiet person, and I came to university without knowing anyone, and it was a little hard at first but as long as you participate and keep your spirits up you should make new friends in no time. (posted by: karapalmer)
It’s definitely normal to be nervous, and there will no doubt be times when you feel homesick! The obvious advice you’re getting is to get involved, keep busy and make new friends which is definitely a great idea but will probably leave something to be desired. For me, I stay connected! I talk to my boyfriend daily, I message and text my sister often and Facebook my friends to keep grounded. Making new friends and diving into activities and homework is a great way to keep yourself occupied, but in those moments when you are feeling incredibly lonely and wondering what your mom is making for dinner while you’re eating a box of KD… you need a little something extra. My recommendation is to also have lots of pictures of the people who care about you all over your room, and photo albums to flip through too. It’s also a good idea to make a concrete plan to either visit home or to have a friend or family member come visit you, that way you have a piece of home to look forward to. (posted by: Quaider24)
What you have to remember is that everybody else is going through the exact same thing, so take comfort in that. Get to know your floor, let them become your home away from home and you’ll see that you get through it easier than you thought you would. Also, get Skype! It’s free and you can speak to your friends and family face to face rather than having to deal with a huge phone bill. (posted by: KateDorotheou)
Try to avoid going home the weekend after O-Week ends, or for all of Sept if possible. 1st month will be the biggest adjustment and it’s just easier to settle in, hang out with people, meet your floor, explore the city on weekends, etc. if you don’t spend every weekend [going home]. (posted by: 123abcuwo)
My residence holds lots of events such as parties and mixers for us to meet new people. I’ve attended all the events in my residence and school, and I’ve met tons of awesome people! What I’d say is, don’t be shy, and socialize. You’ll make friends in no time. (posted by: mandie606)
I’ve found rez to be really beneficial because my floor has helped each other through the transition. People living on your floor are more likely to understand your problems with school rather than your friends from high school who go to other universities. (posted by: treecows)
I met many off-campus people during O-week and in my classes, and some are now my best friends … Get involved in clubs, talk to people and don’t go home immediately after your classes are done … (posted by: BusterBaxter)
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