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Student Blog: Mackenzie's Guide to Fighting Homesickness

Student Blog: Mackenzie's Guide to Fighting Homesickness

The universal human experience...

Moving away from home is sca-ry! I vividly remember the feeling of being 18 years old and saying goodbye to my parents as they dropped me off at college. Actually, I didn't say goodbye to them. In order to avoid making a scene, my mom and I agreed that it was probably best if we just didn't say goodbye. Let me set the scene for you: we had finished moving me in earlier that day, and Baylor (the. best. school. ever.), had food trucks brought to the football stadium for a big social event for the Freshman and their parents (it was a ploy to distract from goodbyes). They got us all amped up on sugar and then told the freshman to head into the stadium for Welcome Week activities. I watched my roommates go to hug their parents, but I turned to mine and said "ok bye" and bee-lined it for the stadium, and no tears were shed on my part! Was that a particularly healthy way to deal with that situation? Probably not, but that's fine. Baylor did a really good job of keeping us busy for the first week or so with welcome activities, and I also kept busy with theatre department festivities, but come week two when life started to settle down, the homesickness began to kick in. The weekends were brutal. My roommates and I didn't have a car, so we were generally confined to campus. It probably took over a month for me to not be plagued by homesickness daily. Now, here I am four years later at a new school, but this time on the other side of the world, and the homesickness is #real. It doesn't go away with age. Going away for grad school is still going away. Oh yeah, I also didn't really get to say goodbye to my mom this time either, because she had to get in a cab to go to the airport while the fire alarm was going off in my building... so yeah I didn't get to say a proper goodbye yet again. Let me tell you, nothing gets you to stop crying faster than a fire alarm going off in your building while you're still in your pajamas and it's 50 degrees outside.

Anyways- how do you get over homesickness? To be honest, I don't have a perfect solution. I don't think anyone does, BUT I can give you some of my tactics for how to combat it:

  1. Stay busy: It is so so so important to stay busy when you first move! Keeping busy keeps your mind off of all the sadness. Do fun things, do homework, throw yourself into your craft, there's no wrong answers here!
  2. Get out of your room: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! I know how easy it is to just stay in bed and watch Netflix or scroll on TikTok all day, but you gotta get out and go do things! Go exploring! Especially overseas, this has been a major help for me fighting homesickness! If I'm ever feeling sad, I just go out and see a new museum that's on my bucket list.
  3. Get involved: Not only is it important to get involved in your theatre department (these are your colleagues and you will be working with them post-grad, so forge those relationships), but get involved in outside things as well! Join Greek Life if that's something that interests you, or join a club that sounds interesting! It's important to have friends outside of your department and to have a small break from the world of theatre.
  4. Call your friends and family: This one seems obvious, but sometimes it's nice to just call your family and sit on FaceTime for a while and watch your dogs (speaking from experience). Talking to friends and family can really help ground you, and just because you're someplace new doesn't mean that you no longer have those relationships!

I hope this is helpful! I know that I'm pretty stubborn sometimes and don't always listen to my parents, so having a peer tell me to go do things and get out of my room is helpful. Remember, homesickness is normal and it's ok to turn to your friends and family when you need to talk! It's a crazy world out there, but don't let life pass you by! Go get the most out of your college experience!

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Mackenzie Elisa

Born in Clearwater, FL, Mackenzie recently graduated from Baylor University with her BFA in Theatre Performance, Concentration in Musical Theatre, and a Minor in History. 

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I hope this is helpful! I know that I’m pretty stubborn sometimes and don’t always listen to my parents, so having a peer tell me to go do things and get out of my room is helpful. It’s a crazy world out there, but don’t let life pass you by! Go get the most out of your college experience!

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