A part of me misses the way my life was prior to coming to college. I had fewer responsibilities and it was easier to access things. Now I rely on the Cambus and walk to get to places such as Starbucks or class rather than hopping in my parent’s car and driving to my destination.
Whether I’m in class, studying, or eating meals at the dining hall, I spend a good chunk of my time alone. This same feeling is relatable to a lot of college students. My friends have expressed their feelings of homesickness and their struggles with living on their own.
I myself, have struggled with homesickness. One of the reasons why I chose to attend the University of Iowa was because if I wanted to visit my family or have them visit me, that option was available. While I did apply to colleges closer to home, the closest being a 45-minute drive, I knew that I had to get out of my shell.
Since starting college in August, I have seen my family three times. I visited my family over Labor Day weekend at my grandparent’s cottage up in Wisconsin which has always felt like a home away from home to me. Two weeks later my family came up for a weekend and we went to the Western Michigan football game. And then a week ago I went home for the weekend.
My family were originally planning to come and visit me for the Minnesota football game but my dad had conflicting plans the next day and the hotel prices were not cheap. We came to the conclusion that it was cheaper for me to visit them and this past weekend worked for both of our schedules. My bus tickets costed around $130 for a direct round trip.
I left for my trip on Friday afternoon. I was nervous to take the bus because it was a new experience for me, but I was also excited to see my family. My sister had no idea that I was visiting this weekend and I was excited to surprise her.
When I opened the door to my house the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My sister was right there at the front door and was so surprised to see me. Seeing her face and her crying made my heart melt because me and my sister have such a wonderful relationship. It took years of fighting to realize that she was my built-in best friend.
After eating my dinner we drove to my friend’s hockey game. While there I got to catch up with my other friends that had invited me. It felt good to catch up with them since we don’t talk much over text. The next day was my sister’s volleyball tournament, which was uneventful because her team dominated the other schools and won every match. Afterward, my sister joined me to run a few errands. Driving in the car with my sister is something that I missed a lot more than I realized. Driving was such a big part of my life because it was a struggle for me to learn and was something I did every day. Now, I rely on the Cambus and friends to get me places which is so surreal after driving myself everywhere.
Saturday evening I met my friend at her Uncle’s house where her cousin was having her birthday party. My friend’s cousin was turning four and it was a costume party which just warmed my heart seeing the kids dressed up. My friend and I spent an hour there and then left and went thrifting and grabbed cookies to bake back at her house. As the cookies baked in the oven, we put on Get Out which is a thriller movie streaming on Netflix.
Sunday morning my family and I went to church where I saw my friend that played hockey on Friday night. It felt good to catch up with him since we don’t talk over text much either. Unfortunately, I was not able to talk to him long because I had plans with another friend. I met my other friend at Cane’s for lunch and we had such an amazing conversation together. After lunch, the two of us went to Walmart where she grabbed a quilt for her bed. Afterward, I spent the rest of the day chilling at home and enjoying my parents and my dog’s company.
Monday morning my bus was scheduled to leave at 12 pm so my parents took me and my sister out for breakfast since she had the day off from school for Columbus Day.
Overall, visiting home was a success. I did everything that I was planning to do and more which felt good. I don’t plan to see my family again until Thanksgiving break which may seem like a long time from now but with academics and my social life, time will go by faster than I think. If the homesickness starts to affect your ability to study or see friends then take a weekend trip home or call your parents or your sibling. I call my mom at least once a week just to tell her how’s life going and see how’s volleyball going for my sister.
Whenever I feel homesick I remind myself that family is forever. In this chapter of my life, I have to do it without my family and while that seems scary, it just makes the moments with them so much more sweeter.
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