Listening to ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ does not help!

It’s freshman year. You’ve moved out of your hometown. Your “coming-of-age” phase has arrived. This is it. You are finally free!

Woman waving her hands in happiness while driving a car.

Cue in: homesickness.

Woman crying.
Text: I just wanna go home.

Let’s face it, moving away from home is difficult. You’re living in a completely unfamiliar place, trying to navigate school, work and “adulting”, with no loved ones at home to go back to—it’s not surprising to find yourself feeling homesick.

According to, almost 69 per cent of freshmen students experience severe homesickness.

While it is normal to feel homesick, not treating it can lead to the development of mental health issues.

So, IGNITE has gathered some tried and tested remedies to help you cope with the blues.

Acknowledge your emotions

Woman saying, "Let's unpack that."

In order to solve a problem, you first need to acknowledge it. Try zeroing in on the main causes that trigger your feelings of homesickness—it could be loneliness, lack of productivity, a bad housing situation or uncertainty regarding your future.

Once you are aware of the reasons, you can begin working on remedies that’ll help reduce feelings of homesickness.

Go out and explore

An animated boy opening his door and stepping out.

If you’re homesick, nothing sounds better than spending all day cooped up in your room wallowing in self-pity. But this needs to change.

Go out and explore the city you live in. This will not only help you grow comfortable with your surroundings, but also give you an opportunity to meet new people.

You could visit local markets, tourist attractions or even try learning a new sport!

If you’re currently in Toronto, we’d suggest you head over to these student-recommended food places and explore different cuisines! (Because we all know good food solves everything!)

Make new friends

Two women hugging a woman they just met.
Text: New friend!

Spending all your time alone, without anybody to laugh with or depend on can get quite lonely. And, with loneliness cited as one of the main causes of homesickness, it is important to make new friends.

We understand, putting yourself out there can be quite scary. But don’t forget, your hometown friends too were once strangers to you.

Joining a local discord group and registering for meetup activities in your area are great ways to find friends.

Pssst… you could also join one of IGNITE’s clubs and meet people who share the same interests as you!

Create a vision board

Woman saying, "When I set my eyes on the target, I don't miss."

In the chaos of moving away, settling down and dealing with the new responsibilities accompanying your independent life, it is easy to lose focus of the reasons why you moved.

Creating a vision board, reflecting your goals and ambitions, will help you stay motivated and give you something to work on.

Writing down all the things you hope to accomplish within a year will give you a purpose to focus on and keep you engaged.

Call your loved ones… but not too much

Boy waving to his family on video call.

Building new relationships does not mean you cut the old ones. Find time to call and interact with your loved ones back home. This will help in keeping yourself grounded and help develop a healthy relationship with your family.

But remember, all good things must be done in moderation. Constantly calling your loved ones (yup, five times a day is too much) will only increase your dependency on them.

Reach out for help

Woman saying, "It's okay to ask for help."

Yes, you can try dealing with homesickness alone—but you don’t have to. You could reach out to your teachers or loved ones for extra support to help you battle homesickness.

Also, Humber’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre’s free and virtual counselling services can help address your issues.

Opening yourself up to new experiences can be scary, but it’s definitely be worth it!

While you currently might be regretting moving away from home, future you will be grateful for it.

And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, tackling homesickness will take time, but IGNITE will be here to support you through it all.

Struggling to keep-up with your friend duties? Here’s how to keep your lifelong friendships healthy and strong.

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