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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As a college sophomore, I have already been through the strife of homesickness during my freshman year. During the first three weeks of freshman year, I cried on the phone to my mom every day. Every single day. Her response in the beginning was sympathetic; she knew that our situation as college freshmen in the fall of 2020 was unlike that of any other. Towards the end of my sobbing phone calls, she was ready for me to get over it and move on; I was ready too. Freshman year during Covid was hard! We were isolated by living by ourselves, we could not leave campus for the first few weeks, and we rarely had class in person. Our campus only had freshmen back the first semester and the only upperclassmen were Resident Assistants and Student Ministers; not exactly the people you go to for advice on a night out (I’m a RA, it’s ok). I made a great group of friends and we eventually made our way to having a better than anticipated first semester. However, I did continue to call my mom everyday. Towards the end of freshman year, it was honestly just to kill time in between the gym and the next online activity. 

 Now that I’m a sophomore RA, an associate director of a Menstrual Equity Taskforce, and the Events Coordinator for our chapter of HerCampus, as well as a student with a full course load which entails an Honors Track, I have a lot more to fill my plate with. I’d rather be too busy than have idle time. I have found, however, that my busy schedule has allotted less time for calling home, which is good. College students are supposed to be busy. I call my mom every now and then, but I rarely have time to call my dad. I am the proud daughter of a plumber who works hours comparable to a trauma surgeon; he’s always on call. That’s just the kind of person my dad is; he could never leave anyone without water or with their toilet broken. Since his hours are so unpredictable, I don’t really know when it is a good time to call him. I miss him a lot and I wish I called him more often. 

I was sitting at my desk one Sunday morning, thinking about calling my dad. I hesitated, since I didn’t want to interrupt him, especially if he was at the convent in our neighborhood. The sisters can be a bit pushy when it comes to their drippy faucet. It was then that I remembered my mom telling me that when she was in graduate school, my dad would leave a love note under the windshield of her car. Her friends would gush when she would read it, wishing that their boyfriends would do something as sweet and wholesome as my dad did. I took this inspiration and began writing a letter to my dad. I wasn’t sure how to start it; would he think that it’s weird that I wrote him a letter? Who even writes letters anymore? 

I began telling him how much I missed him and that I hope he finds time to relax. I proceeded to ask about my mom, my younger brother and his football games, and the grandparents. I lost my Nonnu this past January and it hit our family really hard. He was the first grandparent I had lost and the first person in my family to have passed. My dad does not cry often, but he cried then. Everyone did. My grandma has been having a difficult time recently. Apparently, nine months after the loss of a loved one is when you really start thinking about them again and missing them. My dad has been making sure that in his limited free time he goes and visits with her; it’s easier for him and my uncle to visit than some of their out of state siblings since she only lives up the street from us. In my letter, I told him how thankful I was that he visits with her, since I feel guilty that I cannot be there to help. He has a patience with my grandma that not many other people have. He knows when to be a listener and when to be a contributor. I went on to tell him about my time at school and how I’m enjoying being more involved in my community. I sent the letter and it took about a week for it to arrive home. 

On a Tuesday night I got a call from my dad. It was around 10:30 pm and he sounded exhausted on the phone. He thanked me for my letter and said that he missed me too. We talked for a bit and he said he would write me back. He always says: “I love you to the moon and back,” and I look forward to signing that in my next letter to my dad. 

Writing the letter was cathartic. I needed to write it just as much as my dad needed to receive it. The letter helped me voice my feelings that I wanted to express to my dad, but never did. It helped me process the death of my grandfather and what mourning looks like in the months after his death. The letter made me think of my grandma, who I try to call when I have time. Talking on the phone with her is difficult, since all of her thoughts are consumed by her longing for my Nonnu. My next letter will be to her.

History Major Spanish Minor Class of 2024 at The Catholic University of America. From Connecticut
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