Homesickness is an ailment known throughout the centuries. It was first characterized by Johannes Hofer of Switzerland in the 17th century.
Hofer, a psychology student at the time, called it, “the quite continuous vibration of animal spirits through those fibers of the middle brain in which impressed traces of ideas of the Fatherland still cling.”
Science has lost that poetic prose, but what science lost in flowery writing, it has gained in quantifiable research. Nowadays, psychologists say there are telltale signs of the home-bound blues.
The Journal of American College Health (JACH) says homesickness is characterized by, “depression and anxiety, withdrawn behavior, and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home”.
If you recognize yourself slipping into this dangerous territory, don’t worry; the JACH has your back. According to the journal, here are four simple ways to pull yourself out of it.
1) Go exercise! If you go to the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, see if a new “dorm mate” wants to go with you. This bonding experience will help you make new friends and release stress.
If hitting the gym isn’t your idea of a good time, take your new friend on a walk around campus. Acquainting yourself with your surroundings will make you more comfortable and can prevent getting lost during the first weeks of classes.
2) Keep everything in perspective — a college semester can be divided into three main sections.
First, getting to know your professors and schedules. Second, learning the material. Then, dreadfully, studying for finals.
Usually, once you get to know your professors and schedules, college life will be in full swing and homesickness will seem like a thing of the past. Standing idly by while life happens around you is not a psychiatry, journal approved treatment for homesickness.