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Long distance, part three: Family ties

Move-in day

Olivia Ellison
January 18, 2017

Family: We know you love them, whether you show it or not.        

It's still a few months away for you high school seniors, but on move-in day, it is OK to shed a tear or two as the people with whom you have spent the past 18 years drop you off at college. Soak up every last minute with them. During your first semester, it will be tough. You might be homesick because the sheets don’t feel the same when you have to wash them yourself or the dining hall doesn’t make pancakes quite the same. The good news is that after about 16 weeks, they let you go home! But only after you have spent a semester growing, being educated, and being unbelievably stressed about being an adult, of course.

If you ever find yourself missing home, here are a few ways to cope:

1. Stay busy.

Join a club, get a hobby or get a job (to pay for holiday presents!).

2. Stay off of social media.

There is nothing worse than seeing your family at Thanksgiving via Facebook live and not getting to taste the turkey.

3. Create a new support network.

Your family may not be able to be there with you 24/7, but you are in the same boat with hundreds of other first-year students. Everyone could use another friend who gets what you’re going through.

4. Make a new home.

You are completely capable of making yourself happy and immersing yourself in a new place. So, explore your surroundings, try new things, meet new people and look for the beauty in everything. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

5. Lastly, don’t feel guilty for loving college!

Everyone just wants to see you happy, so cheers to the next four years.

If all of this really isn’t working, there are still some great options. Don’t be afraid to see a counselor to talk things through, or think about transferring closer to home. Remember the sky is never falling as fast or as hard as you think it is. Plus, it is always okay to ask for help. Just because being homesick is so common among freshmen does not mean you couldn’t use some help.

P.S. To all first-year students:

Please call your mom. Like, weekly. To her, there is nothing sweeter than the sound of your voice.


is a senior at UNC majoring in Exercise Science. She plans to earn her Ph.D. and research concussions. In the meantime, she works with UNC's Division I sports teams, participates in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, answers her friends' requests for advice and goes about 100 miles per hour!