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By Caroline Morris

Coming back to college can often lead to inklings of homesickness, and with no spring break this year, those small rushes of emotion can quickly turn tsunami-esque.

Luckily, there are ways to relieve that ache that pangs in your chest when you think about home. There are not a ton of easy solutions to this issue in the middle of a pandemic, and travel is a much weightier choice than it used to be, but that’s just a challenge to think a little outside of the box when self-comforting.

If you can’t travel home, try and bring a little bit of home to you. Family time may look different over a screen, but it can be more than a conversation! Get your whole family on a Discord call and play Among Us. You could also group FaceTime or Zoom and have a dance party! This taste of home and normalcy can help with that homesick ache.

Treat yourself! Sometimes the best thing to do when there’s a hole in your heart is to try and fill it up with an indulgence. So live a little! Get Chipotle instead of Pryz food, grab a pint of ice cream and eat it with no shame, or do some retail therapy. Treating yourself during a hard time is an important part of self-care. 

Another great way to battle homesickness is to spend time with friends. Life at college becomes its own microcosm of the outside world. Your friends become your family and your dorm room is home. So put together a family dinner with your favorite humans, or go on a (masked-up) adventure in the city! Just make sure you don’t isolate yourself; get out of bed, change out of your pajamas, put on real people clothes, and have a fun day with loved ones.

Be active! We all know it and hate to hear it, but exercise does make us feel better. Our brains can’t help it. Those endorphins just know how to lighten the mood. So even though it might feel like an insurmountable challenge to move from athleisure to athletics, go for it! The Kane is open for signups if you want to lift weights or use machinery, but even going for a stroll eases the mind. You can also do a fun workout in the comfort of your room with dance exercise videos on YouTube. 

Another tool to cope with feelings of homesickness is to plan ahead. If you are able to make a trip home during the semester, that’s an ideal way to solve homesickness. If that trip still seems too far away, start planning it! Make a list of the different activities you want to do when you get home or your favorite home-cooked meals that you want hot and ready when you walk in the door. And if summer is the next time you’ll be heading home, plan ahead for all that uninterrupted free time in the warm weather.

Lastly, when you’re feeling low, sometimes all you need is a little TLC. So give yourself a break from homework stress! Take a nice, long shower, throw on your favorite comfort movie (recommendation: Pride and Prejudice 2005), put on some comfy clothes, brew a cup of tea, and just kick back. A little relaxation will hopefully put your heart at ease.

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