Homesickness is one of the potential side effects of college; you either get it or you don’t.
Don’t get me wrong, going away to college is fan-freaking-tastic. The independence is amazing. It’s an opportunity to have a fresh start, clean slate, new you. You’re able to do what you want, when you want, wherever you want. Craving pizza at 2 a.m.? Call Pizza X. You don’t feel like doing laundry for three weeks? Cool, man. You do you. There aren’t any hovering parents ensuring you wake up on time in the morning. You are in charge of making yourself go to class, not procrastinating (I’m still working on this one), and going to the gym (ehh).
Personally, my freshman year was a rush. Everything was unfamiliar, so I had to adjust to my new life. I felt like I was constantly going until one day, when I actually had time to catch my breath, I realized I truly did miss home. I missed the familiarity, the habits, the interaction with my friends and family. I missed my local coffee shop and aimless driving. Although change and independence are new and exciting, you can’t help but miss parts of your old routine.
My “solution?” Call your parents. FaceTime your friends. Have your younger siblings send you daily photos of your puppy. There’s no shame in admitting you’re homesick. Almost everybody experiences it. Some days will be harder than others, and that’s OK. You’ll adjust. You’ll find new hobbies to focus on. I began to write on days where I felt alone. I would bring my camera around campus and take photos of everything that reminded me of home. Sometimes the thing scaring you the most ends up benefiting you in unexpected ways.
Maybe homesickness is a blessing in disguise. Maybe it reminds us of the reasons we’re so attached to home. Whether it’s the people, places, or overall feeling of comfort, being homesick is a reminder to not take the little things in life for granted. Call your parents to tell them you love and appreciate them. Remind your friends that you miss them. Upload photos to Facebook so grandma can see your exciting college life.
In high school if I didn’t talk to my parents for 12 hours no one would blink an eye. But in college, I call my mother every 12 minutes to tell her I ate my vegetables or got an A on a paper—I wish I were kidding. College helped me recognize what is most important: my family. And if being homesick once in a while helps you realize that, then maybe it’s for the best.