How Freshmen College Swimmers Can Deal With Homesickness

by SwimSwam 4

August 19th, 2015 College, Lifestyle, National, News, Opinion

Contributor, Rick Paine, is an expert on the college recruiting process. He is also the Director of Swimming at American College Connection (ACC). ACC is a SwimSwam Partner. 

Webster defines homesickness as a longing for home and family while absent from them.

Here are some simple facts about homesickness:

  • It is real
  • It is perfectly natural
  • It is difficult to deal with at the time, but it really doesn’t last too long
  • It is something that everyone goes through it at some point in their lives
  • It is not fatal
  • It is inevitable

Being away from home for the first time is an experience much like the recruiting process. You can go “nuts” or you can make the best of it. It is strictly up to you.

Going away to school is one of your first real tests in life. There is only one attitude to have about the test, suck it up, grow up and take advantage of a great opportunity. I don’t mean to be hard on you, but this is one of those times in life where you need someone to tell you what to do.

So here’s what you should do:

  • Don’t sit in your dorm room. Get out and meet new people.
  • For the first time in your life you get to reinvent yourself. You can be whomever you choose to be. Make it happen.
  • Embrace this great opportunity to make a life for yourself.
  • Don’t be scared, but rather welcome this new adventure with open arms.
  • Ask for help before you need it.
  • Get excited.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Stay on top of your academics…don’t dig yourself a hole!
  • The first few months on a college athletic team is very critical to the formation of life-long bonds with new friends.
  • You are one of the privileged few who get to experience a great education and a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a college athletic team.
  • Don’t be lazy, eat healthy (email me if you would like to receive our free nutrition newsletter, “Fueling for Success”)
  • Call home often, but don’t go home often during the first year.
  • Be proud of yourself!
  • Let your club and high school coach know how much you appreciate what they have done for you.
  • Be sure and let your parents know that you love them.

Hang in there. You can make it. It’s time for you to fly!

Finding out if you have what it takes to compete in swimming at the college level is easy, and many swimmers do have the potential considering all of the options.  Go to www.ACCrecruits and submit a Free Profile.


SwimSwam is an ad partner with ACC.  Go here and learn more about ACC and their team of college swimming experts. 

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How they should handle it: see above

How many (my past self included) do handle it: drinking


I would also recommend trying to call parents when you are having a good day every once in a while instead of just when you are struggling. My freshman year I mainly called my parents when I was stressed or in (minor) crisis, and they assumed that I was having a horrible time and was a mess. Little did they know, 30 minutes after getting off the phone with them, I was laughing with friends and feeling just fine. My parents were a great support to me and I really appreciated having them as a sounding board during stressful times, but I probably added a number of gray hairs to their heads that first year! To put your parents’ minds… Read more »

Rick Paine

DMSWIM, great advice. I wish more swimmers like you would offer advice to up and coming swimmers. I think they are more likely to listen. I am going to incorporate your advice into our article. As a parent of college kids I would see that they were calling and wonder “what now?”. Thanks


Rick, I am happy to help! I’m young enough to remember my experience vividly but old enough to understand a parent’s perspective. Your articles are great!