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The summer before I went off to college, my friends in college, my family, and the internet told me quite a bit about the challenges that college has to offer: schoolwork, building a social life, and managing your time to name a few. Four weeks after I wrote my very first HerCampus article about things I should have known before move-in day, I feel (slightly) more qualified to continue to write unsolicited advice and rants about my own experience here at Brandeis. Although most of the challenges like time management and developing a good social life are indeed very real, the most challenging thing for me is homesickness. 


 A photo by yours truly, flexing the natural beauty of the Bay Area on the Bolinas-Fairfax Ridge


Coming from just under 3,000 miles away from the Boston area, I had no idea what to expect as a college freshman. I knew that Massachusetts in particular was quite different from California’s dry climate, sunny skies, redwoods, and rolling hills, and I felt excited to see a whole other region of the country. I started off my time here at Brandeis ecstatically. I joined clubs, made friends, and took the bull by the horns, and as far as I was concerned, I was living my best life. But as the freshman adrenaline rush started to wear down, I began to feel a wave of homesickness. I called my parents more and more frequently, sometimes multiple times a day; I became increasingly stressed, and I felt out of wack, to put it bluntly. Although I absolutely love Brandeis and believe that it’s an amazing fit for me, I still can’t shake the feeling of this campus still not coming close to feeling like home. There’s the cliche, “home is where the heart is,” that I’m sure you’re familiar with. Even though that might be true for many, I think it’s a huge generalization in that even though one can feel at home pretty much anywhere, it’s all too easy to feel attached to a place even long after you leave.


PC: Elliot Reyna on Unsplash.com


But despite the challenge of homesickness, Brandeis will start to feel like home. It’s definitely not going to happen overnight–at least not in my case–but home is a place that solidifies over time. It’s where you feel at peace, and that will always be there for you to come back to at the end of the day. Brandeis is an amazing place and the school does an amazing job of making you feel welcome, but it’s ultimately your job to make this your home, and that’s something that takes time. I know that eventually, Brandeis will feel to me just like my home across the country; I’m still trying to figure that out, and I’ll be sure to let you know when I do.


Sophie is a freshman at Brandeis University (an East Coast transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area), and is super excited to be a part of HerCampus! Besides writing for HerCampus, Sophie loves hiking, a good yoga class, and tasty food (partial to Burmese and Dim Sum).
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