When the Homesickness Comes in Waves

Three hundred and ninety miles, one state border and several counties away from home. A semester into college and I am still homesick. It wasn't until I went home for a long weekend and came back to Arizona State University, (ASU), that I realized, I really love being at home. When I moved into the Manzanita Hall dorms, I told myself that I was going to take all the precautionary steps in order to not get homesick. Dive into things head first, they say. Join clubs, get a job, all of which I did. So why is it that every time I’m by myself I feel the tears start to prickle around my eyes? I spoke to Counselor Gina Frohlich at ASU about what homesickness is and the effect it has on students.

“Homesickness can stem from a multitude of experiences that include missing the environment associated with home (physical places), the relationships (peers and family members) or the natural changes that previously provided consistency and stability,” Frohlich remarked.


I moved several times throughout my life and each time I’ve had to adjust to a new lifestyle with the help of my family. When I came to ASU, I knew it was going to be hard saying goodbye to everything I loved at home in Orange County, California. My family, my dog, the beach, a home cooked meal, my bed, a shower with great water pressure. But what I didn't realize was that the hardest part about my parents driving away that one scorching hot afternoon was that I wasn’t going to have my Mom here. She’s my best friend and I tell her everything, so to not be able to come home from school and see her smiling face sitting at the computer playing solitaire every day was going to be an adjustment.

Frohlich reassured me that homesickness is a common and natural experience for a lot of college students to go through. “Being homesick can affect students in different ways and should always be individually considered. It is not uncommon for students to experience mild to moderate experiences of feeling homesick.”

However, after a month at ASU, I realized that I love this school. Everything about it - the people, the classes, the football games: it’s my home away from home. Even though I feel like I am constantly busied by studying, my job and my friends, I always manage to call my Mom several times a day. She’ll answer the phone and say, “Katie? What has changed in the past three hours I last spoke to you?”

Frohlich outlined exactly what I was thinking when I came to ASU. “It is also helpful to have planned visits home to look forward to, continue to communicate with your family, and to look at being at school as an opportunity grow both academically and personally.”

When I find myself by myself, starting to get teary-eyed, I believe that I am here for a reason. Orange County is only a short 50-minute flight away and a short six-hour drive. 390 miles apart from my parents but I think that going to college, being away from home, has made our family stronger.