For many students, college means traveling, whether you’re home is across the county or across the country. Even students who are not typically prone to homesickness may find themselves longing for home occasionally. There are a few ways to keep this pesky feeling at bay.

Most importantly, stay in contact with your friends and family. Talking to your mom on the phone every day doesn’t mean you’re a baby or not independent. Think about it — when you were in high school, there were people you talked to on a daily basis. This doesn’t necessarily have to stop just because you’re at college. Don’t forget about good old snail mail. Letters and cards are more permanent (and exciting) than phone calls. Finally, use the technology that’s available to you. Set your parents up with a webcam before you move out, and Skype them — it’s nice to see them every now and then.

Another way to beat the blues is to stay busy. You will only miss home as much as you have time to miss home. If your evenings are spent idly on Facebook and just bumming around your room, there’s a better chance that home will be on your mind. But, if you fill your time with clubs and activities — or just being around other people — you’ll be more focused on that than what’s going on at home.

Don’t feel like you can only head home on breaks. Even if you don’t have a car, there are still many ways for you to take a weekend trip back to your homestead. If you’re within a reasonable driving distance, chances are there’s someone on campus that’s from the same area. Catch a ride when they go home, and just throw them a few bucks for gas. If you want a more flexible schedule, hop on the Amtrak or Greyhound (and buy your tickets as early as possible to get cheaper rates).

Missing home is normal and to be expected, but homesickness doesn’t have to be crippling. Just recognize that you’re missing home, and figure out what makes you feel better. After a few weeks, you won’t miss home as much as you used to.

Interested in knowing what it’s like to go to school at Gannon when you grew up in the Erie area? Check out Tyler Babcock’s blog and get some firsthand insight.