To overcome homesickness


Sheridan College becomes “home” to hundreds of students each year and many of them may face homesickness.

Although moving away from home can be an exciting experience, there are always worries and concerns.

“I was really worried about not knowing anyone,” said 18-year-old Samantha Graham from Uxbridge, Ont., a first-year student in the Art Fundamentals program who is living at Trafalgar’s residence.

“It’s been a big change, but it’s mostly a positive change,” she said. “There’s so many people to meet, and the classes are different every single day, it’s different and I love it.”

Students who are living away from home are focusing on the positive to distract themselves from missing home.

“I’ve always been quite independent so living away from my parents hasn’t been too hard,” said Noah LePage, 18, first-year Technical Theatre Production and Live Events student.

He explained that it is hard at times when he does miss his parents, because his parents moved away from Guelph, Ont., his hometown, to Montreal, after he started attending Sheridan.

He said the homesickness doesn’t go away. “I’m always thinking about how my friends and family are doing because we’re all so close, but it gets easier as time goes by.”

International students, in particular, must cope with homesickness.

They have to leave behind not only their family and friends, but a part of their way of living as well.

“We have activities so that students feel like Sheridan is a home away from home,” said Yan Wu, who has been a Manager of International Business Development at Hazel McCallion Campus for two years.

She explained that incase students are looking for an outlet, they have “students who help students,” peer mentors who are also international students, so that there is an understanding with what the student is going through.

“If you encounter such a situation as homesickness, don’t always count on friends back home,” said Abhijith Arenmulethu Sasikumar, 22, second-year Advertising and Marketing Communications student in an email interview.

Arenmulethu Sasikumar is an international student from Kochi, India and although he has travelled a lot, last September was the first time he moved away from home.

He said he has kept in contact with his friends and family back home through Facebook and Skype, but explained that although you may be feeling homesick, “remember your old friends are in another country and maybe in another time zone. They might not be able to listen to your problems. You chose to come here. You have to deal with the situation. I faced it. I made new friends. I am happy now.”

Students are also encouraged to book an appointment with Sheridan’s guidance counsellors if homesickness is something they are trying to overcome.