But for first-year Gabby Valchanova, geography is a bigger problem.
“I mean, I don’t have any family here besides my parents,” she said.
“We are all originally from Bulgaria but we moved here when I was two, so it’s hard to be far away from them.”
First-year students are not the only ones to get homesick on campus.
“I certainly see it in transfer students, and second- and third-year (students),” Allen O’Barr, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said.
“I see it in graduate students, coming to the South or North Carolina for the first time.”
For students who do feel homesick, UNC is prepared.
The first resource a homesick student can use is their resident adviser.
“First, I always like to validate their feelings,” Hornor said.
“We talk about how to handle mental health issues, how to handle discomfort in the community, not feeling like they belong, but then that manifests itself into a more homesickness-specific case, and then that can get immediate feedback.”
However, Hornor said not too many of his residents ask for help with homesickness.
“Maybe if I have 30 residents, it’s like, five or six out of them,” Hornor said.
Christopher Sharer, a resident adviser in Craige Residence Hall, said he tries to recognize that his residents come from different backgrounds.
“The biggest thing that I try to let everybody know is that every adjustment is different,” he said.
“Not everybody is going to go through the same thing.”
If a student wants to seek help away from their residence hall, they can always turn to CAPS.
“We see it a lot,” O’Barr said. “It’s one of the stressors that we help students deal with.”