Homesickness can be a very real concern for some of our new residents. The break from home to a new environment and city can be quite daunting for some and for most (even when they don't like to admit it) the pangs of missing home are real.
The floor Residential Assistants will encourage students to mingle and get to know each other, perhaps by inviting everyone to eat as a group in the dining room or by enjoying a movie together in the common room. Orientation Week activities are a good way for all the first year students to become acquainted and begin to form friendships among the new and returning residents.
We encourage parents to help their young adults ride the wave of homesickness by urging them to participate in College life as much as possible in the early days and not to stay in their rooms. Mingling can be difficult to do for some quieter students but they will be rewarded with the benefit of having supportive friends on their floor or elsewhere in the College throughout the year.
Many students like to decorate their rooms with posters, photos or treasured possessions from home to give their room a homely, individual feel. Creating a sense of ‘ownership' of their room can help students overcome their feelings of homesickness as well.
As parents you can also encourage your young adult to keep in regular contact with you and members of their family via a variety of communication means so they can talk about their new experiences. Contacting them, too, at special times like family birthdays, eg by means of Skype, can also help them feel they are still valued members of their families and not so isolated.
The College monitors its new residents through regular communication with the floor Residential Assistants. As well, within the first few weeks, each new resident has a short interview with either the Principal or Assistant Principal so that we can gauge how the student is settling into College and uni life. By utilising a variety of means we can work with you to ease the young person's transition into their new environment and way of life and so minimise the effects of homesickness.