An Open Letter to the College Student who Misses Their Family

Dear College Student Who Misses Their Family,

You may not know who I am. You may ask why I am the person to “speak on” this topic. I think the reason is simple-- like you, I miss my family.  Especially those who I won’t have the chance to see again.

You see, when I was 12, I lost my older brother to a drug overdose. To spare you the painful details, I’ll say that it sucked. It continues to suck. I think about him all the time. I question if he would get along with my boyfriend. I tear up at the thought of him missing my college graduation, just as he missed my high school one, and the thought of him missing my wedding. This time of year is especially painful as we approach the 8 year anniversary of his death.

Not only do I miss him, but I miss my living family as well. I am two hours away from my parents and an hour from my younger brother. This is by no means far, but it’s far enough. Also, this isn’t my first rodeo. I am a JUNIOR who feels this way.

What I’m here to say today is this: the tailgates, the parties, and the fun events are amazing memories to have, but how many of those people you meet while you’re intoxicated will truly be there 5 years from now? 10 years? 20? Chances are that not many of them will be.

Don’t get me wrong, I am the first girl to enjoy a tailgate on an early Saturday morning. However, I am also the first girl to skip one in order to go visit my brother whom I miss. I am the first one to spend a weekend at home even if I know it might put me further behind on homework because, at the end of the day, grades only mean so much. You could have a 4.0 but if you have no family to share that joy with, it doesn’t feel as special.

My point of this open letter is to tell you, it’s okay to feel this way. It’s okay to skip events to go visit family if you miss them despite everyone exclaiming, “I can’t believe you’re missing the party!”. It’s okay to do things for YOUR happiness. It’s okay to do things to better YOURSELF. It’s okay to put YOURSELF and YOUR mental health first.

Sincerely, The Girl Who Misses Her Family Too