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Du-Support Mentoring Program

Honors Project Class of 2020


1. Definition

  1. What is home sickness: Home sickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home--carries the unique hallmark of preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects.‚Äč

2. What contributes to homesickness

  1. Two predicting factors according to Urani, M. A., Miller, S. A., Johnson, J. E., & Petzel, T. P. (2003).
    1. Social anxiety
    2. Social support
      1. At the beginning of the year, it was found that most first year students had a greater amount of social anxiety.
      2. However, this decreased by the end of the year, as did homesickness.
      3. Social support played into this decrease as it buffered homesickness

3. Diathesis-Stress Model

  1. Diathesis-Stress Model research was done by  Beck, R., Taylor, C., & Robbins, M. (2003),  and the found two factors to homesickness;
    1. Sociotropic (social dependency)
      1. Driven by separation anxiety and attachment grief
    2. Autonomy constructs (satisfying independency)
      1. Driven by strain of attempting to master a new environment

4. Solutions

  1. Promote positive adjustments when coming to college
    1. Already done by the first year experience so the mentoring program can add another layer to social support to help students in the academic realm of college

5. Coping Strategies

  1. Normalize and accept feelings of homesickness— recognize that the feeling itself is common to college students. You are NOT alone!
  2. Try to think of homesickness as a positive reflection of the loving attachment you have to the people, places, and things at home.
  3. Stay in touch with home while also making time to forge new relationships and social support.
  4. Reduce acculturation stress by engaging in the native student community here on campus. Take opportunities to celebrate cultural and religious traditions.
  5. Understand that you can take steps to feel better. Try: exercising, going to a club meeting, watching a funny movie, or having a heart-to-heart conversation with someone you trust.
  6. The more you can get invested in and take charge of your college experience, the less homesick you will probably feel. Consider joining a club, participating in the NAS student council, getting a mentor on campus, visiting the student center in Wilson Hall, or attending Talk Circle.
  7. Remember that treatment for homesickness is a gradual process, not an immediate fix. Make a sustained effort to focus on the positive aspects of the new school, to nurture social connections, to recognize and use your strengths/skills, and to maintain a healthy connection with home.
  8. You can always make an appointment at College Counseling Services
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