Adjusting to life at FLC

Emotional rollercoaster

Adjustment and homesickness iconStarting up in a new place can be overwhelming—you need to figure out how to do literally everything all over again. Considering that even fun changes can make us nervous, starting at a new college in a new town can be downright scary.

It’s not uncommon for students to feel lonely, to long for home, or to miss their old friends and familiar cooking. Or to become preoccupied with thoughts about what’s going on back home. Some days are fun, full of excitement. Other days get dark with longing. Like getting on a rollercoaster, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe.

Tips to ease adjustment


To minimize the chaos, and maximize your ability to weather the storm, be sure you:

  • Get sufficient sleep. Your brain recharges during sleep, and actually processes the day’s events. Getting enough sleep allows you to function at your highest capacity.
  • Eat well. Eating healthy, fresh, nutritious, and balanced foods gives your body (including your brain) the materials to tackle the day’s challenges.
  • Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, gives you opportunities to feel accomplished, settles nerves, focuses thoughts, and generally leads to just feeling better about being alive.
  • Use substances moderately and mindfully. No one’s saying stop altogether. But know that the more you use substances, the more volatile your moods are likely to become.
  • Get organized. Schedule your days for classes, study time, fun time, and whatever else. Giving yourself some structure will keep your mind from drifting back to loneliness and thoughts of home.


It’s okay to feel sad and miss the people and places of home. It’s also okay to enjoy and have fun in your new place, even if friends and loved ones aren’t there to enjoy it with you. The goal is to make room for both. Here are a few pro-tips to get you started:

  • Set boundaries. Schedule specific times to text or call people from home, rather than staying in touch throughout every day.
  • Focus your thoughts. Make it a practice to focus your thoughts more on being at FLC and less about life at home.
  • Adventure—yay! Remind yourself that you’re starting a new adventure. It’s bound to be bumpy, but it’s guaranteed to be exciting.
  • Get perspective. Remember all the reasons you chose to study at FLC.
  • Take your time. Give yourself time to make decisions about returning home—don’t rush.

Be here

  • Online gaming. One way to hold your boundaries around at-home and at-school relationships is to only engage in online gaming with your friends from back home, and engage in person with your at-school friends.
  • Explore. Check out student clubs, Outdoor Pursuits, the Student Life Center, intramural sports, the Leadership Center, El Centro, the Black Student Union, the Native American Center, or start your own group.
  • Challenge. Challenge yourself to talk to someone new each day.
  • Use your resources. Remember your RA is a resource to you, as is Student Wellness.
  • Give what you came to get. Put in the effort to create the FLC community you want and you’ll be surprised at what’s waiting for you.

Connect with others

It’s very common to feel nervous about making new friends. Sometimes it seems like everyone else has it all figured out—they seem cool, and confident, and surrounded by friends. The reality is, most folks are just as nervous as you are.

  • Let people know you. The more honestly you present yourself, the more likely you are to make meaningful connections and lifelong friendships.
  • It takes time. Remember that friendships evolve—even if you have an instant connection with someone, it still takes time for the friendship to solidify.
  • Diversify. Don’t count on your roommate(s) for all of your social needs. Most students have mutually satisfying relationships with their roommates, but also have individual circles of friends.

Permission to make mistakes

And remember, you can make mistakes and it doesn’t mean failure. If you can laugh at them, or even just shrug them off, you’ll be able to learn and adapt, and in time, you’ll notice your stress dissolve, and a new sense of confidence emerge.

Get connected

Sometimes it's hard to know where to look to find people with similar interests. Fill out our brief student connection questionnaire to get connected with others on campus.

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