Thursday, 07 December 2017 07:31

Homesickness Featured

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Homesickness is a condition where a student feels an utter sense of loneliness because he has moved away from his family and friends. Homesickness initiates a feeling of anxiety as the student separates from his friends and relatives. A student suffering from homesick also feels isolated and yearns for close relations with a person from home.   There are numerous causes of homesickness.


First, students who leave their homes for the first time experience intense feeling of homesickness.  Today, it is possible for a student to study and live with his parents until he is an adult. However, this is particular common up to high school when students attain their college level of studies; most students move away from their homes, for the first time.  Students who leave their homes for the first time when they head to college are prone to homesickness because they lack the experience. A student accustomed to staying away from his parents and friends will not be affected by homesickness like the students who has left home for the first time.  Homesickness occurs because of the sudden need to be independent (Tilburg, & Vingerhoets, 2007).  A student may find himself on a foreign land and with no friends. Rather than being happy at the prospect of starting college, a student may be affect by the sense of utter loss and helplessness.  A foreign student may arrive at a college where he does not know anyone thus intensifying the feelings of homesickness.

The second cause of homesickness is immense sadness because of leaving home.  The prospect of joining college leaves most students with excitements. However, most students are unprepared of the reality of leaving home. Freshmen students, for instance, undergo the mourning period i.e. a period of intense sadness because of leaving friends and family (Garvey, 2007). Whereas this feeling of sadness is associated with homesickness, it can last for so many days that it interferes with the student’s wellbeing.


Severe feelings of homesickness can result to dismal academic performance. A student who has been a high performer in his academics may begin to fail due to intense feelings of homesickness.  A student suffering from severe feelings of homesickness cannot concentrate in class. In most instances, the student locks himself in his room and spends hours thinking of his family. Additionally, the student spends hours thinking of fun and happiness that he is missing out.   Such thoughts take up most of the student’s time. Similarly, homesickness can affect a student’s class concentration (Tilburg, & Vingerhoets, 2007). This is because the mind of the affected student constantly deviates from the class.

Intense feelings of homesickness can affect a student’s ability to make new friends. A student who is homesick will spend long durations thinking about the friends he left at home. The strong sense of attachment with his friends at home alienates him from his college mates. The homesick student keeps to himself for long and thus has no time to make new friends.  Eventually, the homesick student acquires the behavior of avoiding people. The student becomes shy and withdraws from his peers (Garvey, 2007).  The long term effect of isolation is that the student fails to fit in the new academic environment.


Freshly arriving students need guidance as they begin their academic journey in their new schools. This is especially vital for students who had to leave their home, hometown and friends.  Homesickness is real, and if ignored, it can affect a student’s ability to concentrate and study in the new environment.


Tilburg, M. & Vingerhoets, A. (2007). Psychological aspects of geographical moves. Amsterdam university press

Garvey, D. (2007). Student adjustment: the freshman dilemma. Proquest information and learning company

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Prof. Richard Brixton

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