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January Newsletter

This is a new monthly email that will be sent to all students focusing on mental health from experts at the Carruth Center.

Your well-being is the most important thing here at WVU, and we hope these emails will meet you where you are in your life or in your semester. This is part of our commitment at WVU to keep you safe, share as many of our resources as we can and show you that you are loved and valued.

We don’t want it to become an email for the trash, so if there’s something you want to learn more about, please email Carruth’s Assistant Director of Outreach, Sara DiSimone, at

How to cope with homesickness

You might be feeling homesick upon your return to campus after the holiday break. It’s important to allow yourself to experience the feeling — don’t ignore it. Homesickness may continue for a while, or it may come and go throughout your college year. This is perfectly normal. Be patient with yourself and don’t try to force yourself to feel better. Below are some tips on how to navigate through your homesickness and some resources at WVU that you can use.

It’s OK to acknowledge your feelings of homesickness and allow yourself to feel sad. This will help you process what you’re going through and move on emotionally. You can express your sadness in a few different ways by crying, watching movies or listening to music, creating art or even journaling. Just try to limit how long you spend feeling sad vs. actively doing something to help manage your sadness.

Try talking with someone about how you’re feeling. It can be a friend, family member or roommate. You can also talk with your adviser or professor whom you feel close to. Let them know if you’re feeling homesick and how it’s affecting you.

Visit Carruth, WVU’s campus counseling center, to talk with a counselor. You can make an appointment online or by calling 304-293-4431. Carruth also has a few other options available for students who are feeling homesick like joining in on group counseling.

Looking for something less formal and don’t want to make an appointment? You can stop by one of Carruth’s Let’s Chat events and have a 20-minute conversation with a Carruth therapist. Topics like homesickness are very popular during these talks.

Try to stay connected to home. Schedule some phone calls with people at home. You can also try video chatting to feel even more connected. Try not to rely solely on social media, texting or emails. Make sure you carve out enough time to talk for a while, whether it’s a free evening you have or on the weekends.

Plan a visit home so you’ll have something to look forward to. It can be a long weekend or Spring Break, which is March 11-19. Having something to look forward to will help ease the transition back to campus. Get excited about your trip by making plans and creating a countdown on your calendar!

Keep reminders of home in your room. Your WVU home is your home away from home, so make sure it’s cozy and you’re surrounded by things that make you happy. Put up pictures of your family and friends (and furry loved ones!), use the same color scheme or theme as home to decorate your room, or try having your favorite comforter, pillow or stuffed animal on your bed. Any and all items that will make you comfortable and think of home in times when you’re sad are good things to keep around.

Get involved on campus. Try feeling a little more connected to campus by joining a club or campus organization. You can also consider an internship or on-campus job where you’ll be able to stay on campus, get involved and meet other students.

Be sure to attend your classes. Regular attendance is important to do well in your classes, but it can also help get you out of your room and provide some distraction from the feelings of homesickness. It can be hard at times but try to talk with your classmates. It can be about the classwork, what’s happening around campus or even what their weekend plans are. Remember, that you’re not the only one who could be struggling like this. You reaching out, having a conversation with someone in class, may do others just as much good as it will be good for you!

As you meet new people, make plans to hang out outside of class. WVU has a lot of fun activities planned for students throughout the semester. You can find events happening across campus on the WVU Events Calendar.

WVUp All Night is also a fun event held in the Mountainlair with free food, free activities and giveaways!

You’re not alone. It’s important to remember that homesickness is different for everyone, and that’s because each person misses different things. Some people miss their family and friends, some miss their pets and others just miss the familiarity that home brings. It’s important to try more than one solution to find what works for you. If you feel you’re still struggling with homesickness, you can always reach out to us at Carruth. We’ll be happy to talk with you and help find solutions that work for you.

Strategies to maintain your mental health this winter

The winter months can be challenging for many people. It can be difficult to stay motivated, productive and positive. The “winter blues” can make this season an unhappy one, and it’s no wonder why – no one loves those cold, gray days. If the prospect of a long winter is giving you chills, don’t worry, you can take steps to brighten your winter outlook and manage your mental health. Adopting some of the following coping skills can go a long way toward chasing away the cold weather blues.

Get moving. Staying active throughout the winter months is important. Exercising is one of the best ways to improve your mood and combat the “winter blues.” Studies show that exercising helps boost your feel-good endorphins, making you feel happier. But we get it; when it’s cold and dark outside, sometimes skipping your workout can seem like a better option. If you’re feeling uninspired, try something new this season! Our Campus Recreation Center offers a lot of different programs including club sports, aquatics, rock climbing and more. Visit the Rec Center’s website to find your fit.

Prioritize sleep. Getting enough sleep, typically 7 to 8 hours a night, can help you feel less stressed and more energetic and resilient. It also helps in maintaining your mental health.

Be mindful of what you eat. Mindful eating is the practice of developing an awareness of how food affects your body, mind, feelings and overall well-being. WellWVU teamed up with WVU's Registered Dietitian to bring together some balanced recipes that you can cook directly in your microwave. Whether you’re living on campus in our residence halls or in an apartment, you’ll find the recipes useful and, hopefully, delicious! Download the residence hall-friendly Recipe Book (pdf).

Spend time with friends and people you care about. Humans benefit from being social and having good friendships. Spending time with loved ones can boost your mood and help decrease depression. If you’re looking to make some connections while at WVU, consider joining a student organization. WVU is hosting its Spring Org Fair on Wednesday, January 18 from 3-6 p.m. at the Rec Center. Go see if you find any clubs or groups you would be interested in!

Practice Mindfulness. WVU offers Koru Mindfulness Classes, which is a four-week class that teaches basic skills of mindfulness and meditation. For more information on upcoming sessions and how to register, visit

Start of the semester nerves

Whether it’s your second semester at WVU or your sixth; the start of new classes can be nerve-wracking. It’s important for you to realize this is normal and common for students to be stressed and anxious about starting a new semester. Stress is a normal reaction that your mind and body experience when you are faced with changes in life. Below are some tips and resources available to students as they navigate the start of a new semester.

Get organized! The key to organization is to be prepared early to avoid any last-minute stress caused by not having things ready to go, not being aware of where something is or when something is due. Make sure to look over your syllabi, check your emails often and always allow yourself enough time to travel to class.

Connect with others. Talk with your friends and roommates about how you’re feeling and what support you may need while you transition into the start of the semester. Try to make a friend or connection in your classes. Having someone you can reach out to if you have a question about assignments or to compare notes with will help relieve the stress of starting new classes.

Manage your stress. Stress cannot be avoided, but it can be managed. WELLWVU offers some stress management tools that students can do to relieve their stress levels.

Clean your study and virtual spaces. An organized and clean space is essential to study with full concentration and without interruptions. Make sure you clean your desk inside and out, throw away unnecessary items and arrange your desk by positioning items in a manner that will help increase your productivity.

It’s also important to clean your virtual space. Sort through what you need and don’t need, especially on your desktop background. Organize your files and folders in a way you’ll find most productive and be able to locate things quickly. Get caught up on all your emails and clear out your inbox of what you don’t need. But before you begin, always remember — back up your files!

Become familiar with campus resources.

We want our students to be happy and successful. WVU has a wide variety of resources and services available to students that they can use year-round. WVU offers career advising, tutoring, mental health services, transportation around campus and Morgantown, student financial services, student family resources and so much more. Be sure to reach out to a professor, your adviser, an RA, or even your Dean of Students, Corey Farris if you’re ever in need of support or guidance about available resources for students. Your Mountaineer family is here for you and can’t wait for you to crush this spring semester!

Crisis Resources

Life-Threatening Emergencies


University Police: 304-293-COPS (2677)

Psychological Emergencies

Carruth Center: 304-293-4431 (press 1 after hours)

Crisis Text Line: Text “WVU” to 741741

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988

Veteran Crisis Line: 988 (press 1)

Trevor Project Hotline (LGBTQ): 1-866-4UTREVOR (1-866-488-7386)

Carruth Center has an urgent/crisis clinic that provides in-person visits without an appointment for students who are experiencing a psychological emergency. Call 304-293-7731 (press 1 after hours)