Adapting to US college life

Published on:2011-12-03

For a student who comes to the United States alone, unaccompanied, whose language and culture is also not adapted, it is easy to feel homesick and lonely. We call this nostalgia. Nostalgia is a naturally occurring feeling when a person experiences a sudden change in environment or daily life. You feel vague sadness, anxiety and feel lonely, having a sense of uncertainty, are unable to concentrate, and wish for close contact with family members. Even your sleeping or eating habits may change.

Homesickness is a common situation among international students. So if you find yourself feeling lonely, this is not unusual. Please try to be patient with yourself. For some students, these feelings will pass quickly, while others may need more time to conquer it. During this time try hard to reach out to new people and new things, which will greatly help to reduce the effects of nostalgia. You have to actively look for opportunities to interact with people in the new school. This could include accessing international student associations, participating in school sports activities, registering for all kinds of campus activities, paying attention to local music and art activities, discussing things with teachers, student advisers and other international students around campus, and getting various information. At the same time you can maintain close friendships with former friends, and have regular contact with your family. In the end, all these efforts will ultimately help you slowly go out of the shadow of nostalgia.

It is noteworthy that the vast majority of universities in the U.S. ban drinking and smoking for students who are younger than 21. This must be clearly understood, otherwise you could be subjected to expulsion from your school. No student should smoke, hold, or let others smoke cigarettes or use marijuana or other drugs.