The woes of being away from home can be difficult to deal with, but sometimes a slice of home can be found in the District.
Nothing can replace family, but there are opportunities around D.C. that can stand in for comforts of home. No matter what you miss about home, these activities will lift your spirits:
If you miss your: Home garden
Coming to a concrete jungle can be frustrating for those with a green thumb, but even in a bustling city there are ways to get your hands dirty.
The University’s GroW Garden across from Amsterdam Hall has volunteer hours from 2 to 4 p.m. every Sunday afternoon with a potluck dinner following each session. On Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., volunteers conclude the day of work with a trip to the Foggy Bottom Farmers Market.
If you would rather tend to plants off University grounds, K Street Farm hosts volunteer nights on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. The small plot on 111 K St. NW has set up produce markets for senior citizens and fed helpings to the hungry D.C. population. The garden will soon close as it is in its final season before it vacates next spring to become a substation for the electric company Pepco.
If you miss your: Pet
From visiting pricey cat cafes to scouring local dog parks, students have plenty of chances to meet D.C.’s furriest residents if they left their pet at home.
Crumbs and Whiskers is a cat cafe where an entry fee grants you playtime with the space’s feline tenants. Just a walk through Georgetown at 3211 O St. NW, the cafe is decked out with bean bag chairs and cat toys galore, and you can do homework or relax surrounded by cuddly cats. A 70-minute session can be reserved online for $22, and baked goods and hot or iced beverages are available to purchase.
If you are a dog person, there are free options to get your puppy fix. Grassy open spaces, like Rose Park just off campus in Georgetown, are the perfect sites to run into dog owners walking and playing with their pets.
If you miss your: Car
While you may still carry around a driver’s license, most students will say goodbye to their cars when they arrive on campus.
If you want to rev up in your new city, try a smaller variety of automotives. Summit Point Go-Karts gives you plenty of ways to skirt around its three tracks next to RFK Stadium. The venue offers private one-on-one lessons, passes to compete against friends and leagues. Sessions start at $25, which grants you 100 redeemable points that can pay for one 11-minute session or two six-minute sessions.
Zipcar is also an option to score a set of wheels for a getaway weekend. Rides begin at $10.97 per hour and $76 for the day, which comes with 180 miles. Until Sept. 30, you can sign up for your first 30 days for free before paying a $7 monthly fee in addition to mileage.
If you miss your: Home country
For international students, the culture shock of a new country can bring even more homesickness than usual.
If you have the blues over being a world away, your home country’s embassy likely has a monthly calendar that showcases all of its events. These ticketed events often give you a tour of cuisine, culture and arts, along with a chance to speak to senior diplomats.
Spend some time nailing down the best restaurant in D.C. that cooks up your country’s cuisine. If you can’t find an authentic version, hit the recipe books and head to an international grocery store around the city to make a homecooked meal yourself.