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You can conquer homesickness

Health practitioners offer healthy tips

By Dominique Morris
On November 10, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 10, 2016) – Homesickness is not usual for new college students, and Dillard students are no different, but health practitioners suggest healthy ways to get over it.

Most people don’t want to be away from their home and their families for long. However, when one goes off to college, leaving the place one calls home is inevitable. Symptoms can include calling home more often, anxiety, withdrawal from friends and social groups, irritability and decreased motivation.

DU counselor Allison Proctor estimated about 10 to 15 Dillard students suffer from homesickness every semester, many of them freshmen trying to adjust.

Sophomore Darius Maxie, a film major from San Francisco, recalled how he suffered his first year. Everything was different, he said: the culture, strong accents, the slower pace, the constant partying. He said trying to adjust to his new life became stressful.

Las Vegas sophomore Deven Berry, a computer science major, said he became so depressed he could not study. He said he missed his city and his old environment.

Proctor suggested making new friends and finding positive role models, such as mentors and advisers, can help students find comfort in their new environment. Proctor said Dillard can contribute to easing homesickness by serving foods or having events that can relate to everyone’s culture.

Maxie suggested freshmen could benefit if discussions about the subject were offered.

Here’s what’s done already: Counselors make classroom visits throughout the year, allowing students a chance to meet them and learn how to reach them. Emails are sent by Student Support Services, alerting students of counseling services and opportunities to seek help for various issues.

Two counselors, Proctor and L’Toya Brumfield, and a counseling intern are available in 274 Student Union from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Some tips: Stay engaged. Establish a personal routine that keeps you occupied. And reach out to talk to a counselor if needed.

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