Homesickness is very real and it can be quite painful. It is also something that you might need to contend with when you get to college. Indeed, college can be exciting, but if it is your first time out of the house you may start to feel that homesickness pang after a few days. Homesickness can loosely be described as a dull pain in the stomach, feelings of depression and lack of interest where you may not want to get out of bed.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to curb homesickness so that your stress levels don’t go through the roof. Combine the stress from college and exams and you could have an emotionally messy situation on your hands. Here is how to beat homesickness in college.

Stay Busy

One of the best ways to beat homesickness is to stay really busy. If you are getting UC’s respiratory therapist degree, you may want to really dive into your studies. If you don’t, you could be spending the time missing home. If you don’t have anything to do, you may want to see a movie. The name of the game is to keep your mind occupied at all times.

Have a Lifeline

If you do get homesick, you want to have a lifeline. Oftentimes, the homesickness wanes when you call home. This is why you want to put mom and dad or an old high school friend on speed dial. You want to be able to get ahold of family right away. You can think of this as a quick shot of home. You don’t want to rely on this too heavily, but it can really help when the homesickness is really sinking in. If you have video conferencing on your phone, you could video chat as well.

Bring Something From Home

Another way to keep homesickness at bay is to bring something meaningful or sentimental from home with you to college. For instance, you may want to bring a childhood blanket. Just the smell, the feeling, the memories will help you stay in good shape. Just having this item around could offer some great emotional backup.

You might also want to ask your family to send a care package from home every now and then. If you get some fresh baked cookies and other treats from your home town every so often then you will get that feeling of home without leaving campus.

Eat Right

On top of having items to hold on to and a lifeline, you also want to take care of yourself. The best way to do this is to eat right. If you don’t eat right you will be at an emotional low and susceptible to the pangs of homesickness. Stress has been linked to all sorts of residual emotional ramifications. In college, when stress is at an all time high, you really want to do your best to eat full, nutritious meals.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Of course, another part of taking care of yourself is by getting lots of sleep. It is critical that you get at least eight hours a night. If you don’t, you could feel unrested. Sleep is a little bit like a recharge function for the body and mind. In the end, having plenty of rest will cure stress and homesickness.