The Homesick Hotline: How to Handle the Call from a Freshman Who Misses You

Male college student holding a cell phone to his ear and his hand on his cheek.

The Homesick Hotline: How to Handle the Call from a Freshman Who Misses You

Published October 3, 2023

Male college student holding a cell phone to his ear and his hand on his cheek.

Picture this: You’re binging your favorite TV show in your cozy living room when the phone rings. It’s your college freshman, and they sound a little down.

“Hey, Mom, Dad,” they say, their voice carrying a hint of nostalgia. “I miss home.”

Your heart does a somersault, and you realize it’s the dreaded homesickness call. But fret not; you’ve got this!

First, stay calm, even though you’re secretly thinking, “Wasn’t it just yesterday they couldn’t wait to leave?” With a reassuring smile (yes, even over the phone), try saying something like, “Oh, sweetheart, we miss you too! It’s natural to feel homesick sometimes. We love hearing from you.”

If they start reminiscing about their old room, favorite snacks, and even the family pet, the homesickness may start to get a little more intense. Try suggesting you take a virtual tour of their old room — you can even FaceTime with the family dog! Next, ask them to give you a virtual tour of their dorm and point out anything fun that jumps out at you, such as the cool posters they hung on the walls.

Dealing with College Freshmen FOMO

If they’re worried they’re missing out on all the fun back home, cheerfully inform them, “You know, we still have your favorite ice cream in the freezer, and your friends miss you too. You’ll have plenty of fun stories to share when you get back.”

Don’t panic if they start to wonder if anyone at home even notices they’re gone. It’s not a sign that things are dire — they’re just run-of-the-mill homesick. This is a good time for a “family love reminder.”

Remind them that of course, you notice they’re gone. The house feels empty without them — even the fridge misses their raids, ha!

When Students Start to Doubt Their Decisions

It’s normal for college freshmen to question their choices and wonder if college was the right call. This lets you know they’re in need of a confidence boost. Try saying something like, “Remember why you chose this path. College is a fantastic opportunity for growth, and you’re doing amazing things there. We’re so proud of you!”

Now comes the reassurance phase. Hopefully, they’re beginning to see the light at the end of the homesickness tunnel. Remind them that before they know it, Thanksgiving will be here, and it will be the best family reunion ever.

Before you hang up, remind them you’re just a call away whenever they need you. 

More often than not the homesick cloud lifts, and your college freshman will be ready to face their new adventure with renewed vigor. After all, home is where the heart is, and your heart is always with them.

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Other Articles You Might Like:

10 Pieces of Advice for College Freshmen

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