Urgent Support

Missing home?

Aseem was very close to his parents and siblings. He knew that living away from them would be difficult, but did not anticipate just how intensely he would feel. He often found himself thinking of his family. Everything reminded him of something back home. It became difficult for Aseem to engage himself with anything here. He felt worse when everyone around seemed to be doing so well. Continuing like this for four years felt impossible! He just wanted to go back to all things familiar!

While some IITians may have lived away from home before, for some others this may be their first time away. Either way, it is natural to be experiencing a range of different emotions. Moving out from our home and loved ones to a campus with people we don’t know is not easy. One may feel a sense of loss, longing for home and all its related aspects (the food!), or feeling lonely. Whatever your experience may be, know that it is okay.

Here are some things you can try to make the process easier
Build a routine

Try and maintain a steady routine. You need not be extremely strict about it, but giving our days some broad structure and knowing what we’re going to be doing next is useful.

Explore your surroundings

Avoid spending too long in your room alone, which can make you feel worse. Keep an eye out for different places you can visit and programs you can be a part of. Get to know your campus and the city, your home for the next four years, a little better.

Participate on campus

The IIT campus is a vibrant space. Look for groups or activities that interest you and sign up for them. This will help you know your institution better and also meet new people.

Find ways to feel closer to home

Continuing any activities that you followed back at home, putting up any objects or pictures in your room that remind you of home can help make you feel connected to home. In addition to having a pre-decided time for phone and video calls, you could go the old-fashioned way and consider writing letters/sending postcards etc. to friends and family you’re comfortable with.

Try Journaling

Writing about our experiences promotes us to think deeper about them and can help understand them and make meaning better. Write about what you’re going through, your experiences, and also things that you’re enjoying and liking. This could also be a nice resource you have to look back on later.

In addition

Be conscious of your expectations

Sometimes the things we tell ourselves can make coping with experiences more difficult. Notice if you’re being too harsh about your own ability to cope (Why can’t I just adjust/why do only I always have such a hard time/I’m not supposed to feel this way). Remember that this is a big change and it's okay to take time.

Also, a lot of us start university with certain expectations about how life is going to be (I’m going to have these instant friends groups/attend so many parties/ college life is going to be so much easier and better) and when our actual experience does not match these ideas, it can get tougher to adjust. So, ask yourself:

  • Did you have any preconceived ideas about how college life was going to be like?
  • Where are these ideas coming from?
  • How are these ideas coming in the way of you being able to make most of your time right now?
  • What are some realistic experiences of living the insti life?
Build support for yourself

Take time to know people around you and build new connections. It may not feel the same as your relations back home (that probably took years to build), but finding like-minded people could be of great help. If you’re feeling unsure about how to begin, refer to this article.

Also, know that feeling homesick is also in a way indicative of a positive bond that you share with your place and people! You can always plan your next visit and things you want to do. But in the meanwhile, try making the most of your time here.

Finally, remember that you’re not always going to feel this way and it gets easier.

You can listen to other IITians' experiences and how they coped here! Click here

If these feelings of missing home continue, you’re feeling overwhelmed and it’s interfering with your life on campus, please reach out for help.

  • Your ISMP/ ISCP mentor is your go-to person! Your mentor has been there, done that.
  • Talking to a counsellor at the Student Wellness Centre could give relief and provide guidance about what you can do.