Coping with homesickness

No matter how old you are, it’s normal to feel homesick when you are far away from home. 

Homesickness can feel different to different people. Some people may have frequent feelings of sadness and loneliness. Some people may cry often. Others may find it hard to focus and work. Some people even have physical symptoms like frequent stomachaches or headaches.

I think I’m homesick. What should I do?

If you have physical symptoms, like pain, you should see a doctor or nurse to make sure you are not actually sick. And if you have other symptoms of homesickness like crying, sadness, or not being able to work well, MIT has resources that can help:

There are also many ways you can help yourself feel better:

  • Find your peers. If you can find people on campus or in the area who come from the same area, you may begin to feel more at home at MIT.
  • Find the best ways to stay in touch with family and friends at home. Some people enjoy calling home or using Skype; but sometimes calling and Skyping can just make you miss home even more. In that case, find different ways to stay in touch. Use more email or texting or another way of communicating that doesn’t make you feel as sad and lonely.
  • Save reminders of home. Find objects that remind you of home and make you feel happy. Keep them where you can see them.
  • Use a calendar. Post a “countdown calendar”—a wall calendar that shows the next time you will see family and friends from home.
  • Be active. Exercise can make you feel better.
  • Explore! Leave campus, and explore Cambridge and Boston.
  • Be social. Participate in social events with other students.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep can be surprisingly helpful. Try to catch up on your sleep wherever you can.