Many students may have jumped at the chance to finally get away from home and gain the independence that comes with college. However, along with benefits like no one telling them to pick up their dirty socks, there are also drawbacks to this newfound freedom – like homesickness.
For many students at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) moving away from home may have created mixed emotions. Some CSUMB populations might be more affected by feelings of homesickness. A past report has shown a large number of international students (about 200 students or 3% of the student population in Spring 2018) and first-generation students can experience homesickness.
Not only students, but new faculty and staff may experience homesickness. “Everyone experiences homesickness,” according to Tia Dasgupta, a fifth-year doctoral intern at the Personal Growth and Counseling Center (PGCC) at CSUMB. Dasgupta said she experienced homesickness when moving from Chicago to Monterey for her internship this past July. At first she spent a lot of time comparing Monterey to Chicago, before she let go of this thought process and came to appreciate the differences.
Dasgupta advised students “to not spend too much time calling home” and not being present in their new environment. This includes comparing themselves to friends back home or other college students on social media.
For students feeling like her, she suggested going to the library to study instead of their room. “Just trying to be out there and not so isolated.” This could include getting involved on campus and finding a community. Dasgupta additionally suggested exploring the local area, either with friends or solo.
Students looking to follow Dasgupta’s advice can check out the following options:
- Discover murals and shops in Sand City’s West End
- Check out a beach – one good option is Carmel Beach
- Walk Cannery Row and look for seals or otters off the decks near the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Hike Fort Ord, or take a bike ride with a bike rental from CSUMB’s bike shop
College is about “making space for having these new life experiences,” Dasgupta said.
Students wanting more advice on homesickness can check out the free [email protected] resource, which Dasgupta describes as “like a Pinterest for your needs.” They can also book group or individual PGCC counseling sessions – a resource students have already paid for through registration fees.
Contact the PGCC
Email: [email protected]