Feeling depressed because I came home from college (5 Tips)

This article will discuss how coming home from college can make you depressed. Along with that, it will discuss how you can adjust to life back at home, and what are ways to cope with this.

Feeling depressed because I came home from college 

Going back home from college can be a strange situation. When you go to college you have a fresh start. You experience so many new things, meet so many new people, that going back may seem strange. 

It can make you feel disconnected from the life you had before going to college. After you graduated high school each of your friends may have gone on a different path, and meeting them nowadays, although it can be touching, may also have a bittersweet feeling.

You can feel like you will always have a home in this town, in your family’s house. But since college, your world has become bigger. There are a lot of other people in it, and you went through so many experiences while you were away. Because of all that, you can feel intense sadness when you go back home. 

And in some cases, it can even make you feel depressed. It might not be a complete depressive disorder, but it can be something of situational depression. A condition that happens when you need to adjust to a moment, place, or event in your life.

Situational depression is a sense of sadness, disconnection, loss of hope, and purpose you can experience because you went through a change in your life. It can happen when you lose a loved one when you change jobs when you move away to college and the same way when you go back home from college.

It is usually a fleeting moment, and it can go on for some weeks. Until the person can set on their new reality, and feel comfortable with it. So when you go back home, you need to adjust to the life you have there. 

You need to settle with your parents and their house routine, instead of living in the liberty you had at college, in which you could choose what you wanted to do.

You may feel like coming home is taking a lot of your newly discovered power and independence. And all of the restrictions can seem overwhelming. Along with all that, being back home from college can make you miss the friends you made there, all of that combined can create a rather overwhelming scenario. 

If you are experiencing all of that as you come back home from college, know that some things can be done. Let’s discuss what they are.

How can I cope with being depressed because I came home from college? 

If you feel that coming back home from college is causing you to feel depressed, there are some things you can do. 

Take some time to relax 

You might get home after your finals, and may need some time to decompress. The first days after you arrive home can be just that. Take some moments to sleep, or just do nothing. This will help you feel refreshed to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends.

Understand that everyone will need to adjust 

Going back home will take some adjusting for everyone. Once you left your family had to set a new routine, create new activities, and rethink how they would work as a system, with one less person in it. 

So when you go back, all of that needs to be thought of again. And you may have changed during this time away, that the boundaries that had before won’t apply. All of that may take some time to adjust. 

Discuss what is different from now on

As said before, the rules and boundaries that existed before you went to college don’t apply anymore. Asking you to be home at 10 pm, or that you can’t spend the night out might be difficult. 

You have been living a free life away, so it might be important to discuss with your parents how you can all set new rules. Not for controlling, but to live this time you are together positively.

Discuss your plans with your family 

If you are going back home there might be a lot of plans. It can be with your family and your friends. So there is a good chance that those can overlap, or you can just get tired and need some time for yourself during your days at home.

Discuss with your family what you have in mind when you are thinking you can do things with them, and what are your other ideas and plans for the time you are there. This will lead to less stress and frustration for everyone.

Make a point of your independence 

As said with the boundaries, it might be hard for your parents to understand that you are self-made now. That you are taking care of your house, your things, and your study. They may find this independence strange. 

But try to show them how you have been able to manage things on your own, and how being independent can also be great for the family unit. You can make dinner with a recipe you learned in college, help them with the chores. Everybody wins.

Keep in touch with your friends

And although you might be surrounded by your high school friends, and family, you might miss your friends from college. Make it a habit of staying in touch with them. They are probably the ones that will understand best what you are going through, and that will miss all the things you used to do together.

This can make you feel more connected, less alone, and help you keep in mind that you will be back there in no time to enjoy all the great adventures you go on together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can I get depressed when I come back home from college? 

How can I avoid college burnout? 

Although college can usually feel stressful, there are some things you can do to prevent you from feeling burned out.  You may want to be a part of something you enjoy. It can be a club, such as a book club or a group in which you will be exposed to things that light you up.

This will allow you to direct your energy to other things aside from the hard work college asks of you. It can keep you fresh, and even more, energized to handle the day-to-day work. Aside from that, have a good studying habit that won’t let things pile on. Doing a little each day is a lot better than being buried in a sea of work. 

And finally, you may need to learn how to say no. By setting some boundaries in what you want and can do, and what you don’t want or can’t do is a huge relief. You may feel like being able to say no to a party, or a subject is equally pleasing if you think they would suck a lot of your energy out.

What are the signs of depression in college students? 

When college student becomes depressed many areas of their lives can be affected. They might begin to skip classes, and their grades will go down with that. They can also start to delay delivering papers, or not even submitting them at all. 

Along with that, they can begin to skip social events, and becoming more isolated can seem the new order for them. They will distance themselves from family members, so they won’t get in touch so often, and their friends won’t find them at the social events they used to go to.

How can I cope with the end-of-the-semester burnout? 

The end of the semester is always an intense period. There are so many papers and tests to be done, one can feel burned out. Once this period is done, it is important to take some time to care for yourself.

The first thing to do is to let yourself do what makes you happy. Have fun with friends, stay in and watch a show, or even just sleep. Take some time to rest and re-energize yourself. During this time, try to focus on doing only what is extremely necessary. 

Don’t put things on your plate that you don’t need to. And work on managing your time with that to do things more healthily.

What can I do when I feel overwhelmed in college?

College is usually an overwhelming time. There are so many new things, so much to learn, that you can feel lost. But when you feel like that, you can get in touch with your family. 

Although during high school you may have avoided talking things over with them, in college this can be a great relief. They may also have gone to college and might have an insight or two on what you can do.

Aside from your parents, you can share your thoughts and feelings with a friend, or even look for a college counselor. This will help you have a better notion of what is going on, and you will be able to receive the support you need. Planning is also a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

Of course, there are some moments or things in life that are impossible to plan for, but if you have a good schedule you may take some of the things that could overwhelm you quite easily.

And when you are focused on doing your things, try to stay away from distractions. This will help you work with your best performance, allowing you to probably do things faster, and better. 

And finally, when it all seems like it is falling apart, try to remember how to breathe. This will help you center yourself when the world is chaotic, and help you find a way out of it.

Is college supposed to be stressful?

College is often stressful, and some of it is extremely common. What is important is to not let it take over your life. Remember that stress is a common feeling when you are faced with a new situation. But if you create good strategies to handle stress, the impact it will have on you will be a lot smaller.


This article explained how coming home from college can cause some students to feel depressed. Along with that, it explained what are the signs that this might be happening, and what can you do about it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.





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