The first few weeks of college are always tough. Getting used to being away from home and living on campus can be difficult, especially if you’re not local to Erie. Here’s a few suggestions to help you get over homesickness and enjoy your time on campus.

1. Use Skype. Skype is a free video chat service that connects you to any of your loved ones through the internet. It is safe and very comforting when you’re in the mood for a cozy night in. It’s a good idea to set up an account, especially when you are miles away from the sibs and high school friends.

2. Write a letter. Take a trip to the bookstore and grab some paper and envelopes for cheap. Letters are and will always be a sincere and fulfilling form of communication. Writing out your experiences and stories in a card or letter to someone back home is much more personal than sending a text or email.

3. Deck out your space with lots of pictures. Nothing will hold you closer to your hometown memories than decorating your room with a collection of pictures. Develop as many prints as you desire and fill the walls with goofy senior year pictures that only you understand.

4. Stay busy on campus. Gannon hosts so many activities and clubs for students that it is often hard to keep track of them all. It’s true that the more you appear on campus – whether it’s at a club-sponsored activity or sports event – the more friends you will make and the more attached you will become to your university.

5. Host movie nights. Round up all the friends on your floor, rent a (free!) movie from the library, pop some corn, order a few pizzas and spend a night bonding in the common room. Movie nights are very common in college, so suggesting an all-night movie-thon with friends may remind you why you decided to live on campus in the first place.

 6. Call your family. This age-old remedy for homesickness sounds extremely cliché to a college student, but it works. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to call your mom, dad or even grandparents every few days. Hearing the enthusiasm in their voices from seeing your name on their caller I.D. will be enough to make you feel remembered and not too far from home. Family – as stressful as they may be – can be the best form of therapy.

7. Keep yourself (somewhat) healthy. You may be thrilled by the concept of eating whatever you want whenever you want, but poor eating and exercise habits take a toll on your mood after a while. Exercise and eat healthy a few times a week and your mood won’t be effected. Staying healthy will help you avoid feeling down in the dumps, allowing you to make the most of your freshman year at college!