Homesickness, which often occurs early in the school year, but can appear at any time, is a very powerful emotion that can vary tremendously from one student to the next. If a new student experiences any personal and/or academic disappointments, it may cause him/her to start thinking about home and his/her inability to share in the activities there. All of a sudden, the student is hit with the realization that life for the rest of the family is going on as before, but without the student. This can trigger a case of homesickness and the student may announce that he/she wants to spend a lot of weekends at home. Unfortunately, however, this can prolong homesickness, because the student isn't really giving college life a chance.
It takes some students longer than others to overcome homesickness. In the fall semester, participating in Family Weekend, which is held each year in October, often helps to resolve the problem. As students share a portion of their University experience with their families, they often feel better and develop a sense of pride in their new environment. Becoming involved in campus activities is also an excellent antidote for a case of homesickness. As students make friends outside the classroom, the loneliness that may accompany homesickness is often alleviated and students begin feeling that they are really a part of the campus community.
It is important to reassure your child that most students feel homesick at one time or another and that, over time, the feeling will most likely pass. Your son probably doesn't realize it, but while other students may not appear to show it outwardly, they also share similar feelings.
If the problem persists, you may want to suggest that your student make an appointment at the Counseling Center and/or speak with his AD.