I am really struggling with my emotions at this moment in life. I just moved 1,000 miles away from home in order to attend a great school, but I'm miserable. I haven't made many friends if any, and most of my time is spent in my dorm room alone. I know this isn't good, I should go to clubs and hang around campus to meet people, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am very stressed and contemplating moving back home. My parents swear the problem is being away from my boyfriend — we have been together for about two years — but he wouldn't be in my hometown anyway, he's living away from home too.
In my hometown, I was involved in many community things and had a job that gave me great experience for my future career plans. But at college, everything big happens on campus; this is a small town, and I am a big-city girl. I don't know what to do. Any advice? — Homesick Sandra
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Dear Homesick Sandra,
I'm so sorry you're feeling like this, but I can tell you honestly that I felt the exact same way when I first went away to school across the country from my family and friends. I was terribly lonely and hesitant to put myself out there, but after realizing that keeping to myself was only making matters worse, I changed my tune, made an effort to meet people, and ended up having a great college experience. Making new friends can be difficult, but luckily in a college setting, everyone is in the same boat as you are. Before calling it quits, make sure you've exhausted all your possibilities first.
Instead of going straight to your room after class, head to the campus coffee shop and read or study there. Hit the gym or join a campus club. Spark up conversation with the person you sit next to in class; at least you'll have something to talk abut! Your dorm floor is how most people make their first friends in college, so chat up the person next to you at the sink or hang out in the hallway when you hear people talking. And last but not least, get involved on campus. You say you were involved in many community things back home, so why not do the same now?
Getting accustomed to a new environment takes time. Try to be a little more patient and I'm sure once everyone settles into their new surroundings, friendships will be made left and right. Hang in there and good luck!