Just the other day, I was texting my friend about how I’ve been dealing with a recent increase in homesickness this semester. It’s interesting how those emotions can come and go because they didn’t necessarily phase me during the first semester. My parents warned me before I left for college that homesickness would hit me randomly throughout the year, and I just had to push through. That being said, I think many people portray college through social media and interactions on and off campus as one, big, fun party all the time. The transition, in-between moments, and potential homesickness aren’t as normalized, which I why I want to take the time to write about it, and how I cope.
As many of you may know, I am from New Jersey… AKA really far away. When I was applying to college, I knew I wanted to go somewhere different and a decent distance away from my family to truly be on my own for the first time. I think one of the hardest things for me being here is listening to everyone talk about their plans to go home for a weekend to sleep in their bed, see their parents and dogs, and decompress after a long week. That isn’t an option for me. I’m a 16-hour car ride (when I don’t have a car), or a full day of air travel away from my family, so it’s a giant inconvenience for me to “run home” for the weekend. Additionally, I am really close with my family, and being this far away is very difficult. Not to mention, when I am home for breaks, I am terrible at goodbyes. I’m quite the crier when it comes time to part ways, so that part is by far the worst, even though I know my amazing life in Iowa City is waiting for me on the other end.
It’s tempting to want to go home, even just for a little bit, when things feel they’re getting harder. However, I think I’m doing myself right when I stay for extended amounts of time. I always remind myself that this change is still VERY new! It’s okay for things to still feel a little weird. I am surrounded by amazing friends, supportive teachers, and my family who all want to see me succeed, and that means just doing my best every day. I try to keep myself busy with friends, sorority life, or school work when I start to feel down. I also call my parents and sister all. The. Time. They would tell you themselves, I can be overly eager to FaceTime. It helps me feel connected, gives me chance to catch up with them, and tell them all about my life here!
At the end of the day, I am grateful I’m homesick. I’m sure you’re thinking, “what?” but it’s true. I like to say, I appreciate that my family is hard to leave and that I miss them because it reminds me of the positive impact they’ve made on me. They are by far the most influential people in my life, and when I visit, my time at home just feels that much sweeter. Homesickness is a tricky thing to deal with, but you’re not alone. There are lots of ways to cope in a healthy way and more than enough people who are willing to help.
As always, go hawks!