What Rocks and What Sucks About Living a Continent and Ocean Away from Home

Going to college away from your home is a weird experience for anyone. There are days where you feel so excited to live your own life and make (hopefully) adultish decisions for yourself. And then there are those times where it feels like everything is failing you and the only thing that could heal is [insert home-specific thing here]. After spending nearly three years in Boston away from Guam, I feel like I have gained a well-balanced idea of what rocks and sucks about living away from home.

Sucks: Not having your parents around for constant guidance.

I’d like to think that we are all super thoughtful and wise young adults thriving in this world, but the truth is we make mistakes all the time. My parents are arguably the smartest, most helpful people I know so being away from them 9-10 months out of the year makes me feel near incapable. And, with the time difference and all, I can’t quite call them at any hour of the day. Oh, no. I save up my grievances against the universe for our regular 9 PM EST conversations only to forget what I was mad about in the first place.

Rocks: Time to work on the whole “independence” thing.

While I miss being guided and led by my parents, there is a certain satisfaction I get from figuring out things on my own. The more I learn to speak up for myself and discover the things that give me so much joy, the more I feel like my own person. I also get to create a second support system made of friends and mentors in Boston that I can connect with for years to come. The biggest pay off of this collegiate freedom is that I’m creating a new relationship with my parents where we talk about and bond over real people things. 

Sucks: Not having the familiar faces and places that keep me sane around.

Home is called home for a reason: it is the one place that you can turn to for comfort and love. Sometimes the lack of childhood favorites and loved ones that practically raised me makes me feel alone and isolated. And if you’re just getting used to your new surroundings, even the little things that aren’t home can feel so detrimental to your life. Nothing could suppress my shaved ice craving or my desperate need for my great grandma’s hugs and the time apart from all those things begins to feel unbearable.

Rocks: Having new faces and places that keep me sane.

A huge part of the whole self-discovery thing is finding the people, places, and icy desserts that bring you happiness in times of stress. If it weren’t for the friends I made my freshman year, I don’t think I would have gotten through my first year away. At the same time, finding these outlets of comfort also allows me to calm other people too. From cafe dates to rom-com marathons, communing over comfort both strengthens and will help you make those meaningful connections.

The separation anxiety that you get when living away from home will never really go away. But as time goes on, you will start to redefine the boundaries of what your comfort spaces and faces are. Plus, you’re never alone when it comes to homesickness.

 

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