It’s been four years since I first started at KU, and I still struggle with homesickness. It’s been a struggle for the entirety of my college experience. Over time, my longing to go home had subsided dramatically since freshman year; but this did not happen from going home every chance I had.
Homesickness is not a topic that is brought up in conversation often for seniors. People may expect that a senior has learned to love their school and even see it as a second home. Four years is ample time for students to make long lasting friendships that turn in to family. Home friends will drift and new ones will take their place. However, I didn’t find this to be true.
I feel that I am not in the minority when I say I still get homesick as a senior. I realize that it does not matter the age; for homesickness transcends throughout all phases of life. But it might be expected that there is a sense of establishment after being somewhere for 3-4 years.
Freshman and sophomore year I didn’t have a car at school. I felt trapped, and when I wanted to go home, I couldn’t. This had me constantly waiting for the moment I could leave. My mom would try to come get me, but it was far for her. Asking her to drive two hours to get me and then bring me back all in one weekend was a lot to ask. Also, finding a ride from a fellow student was near impossible. I found myself at school more than most people. I would be home for breaks and a few weekends here and there, but other than that I was always at school.
Staying at school actually helped with my homesickness a lot. This sounds strange, but it forced me to get used of being away. I felt a little stronger with each weekend that I didn’t go home. However, the longing didn’t subside completely. I would go home during breaks and such, but it wasn’t until I had a car at school that I had my own freedom. I didn’t take advantage of my new found freedom though. I figured that if I kept going home, it would make me want to stay home.
Some might be thinking that if I liked the school I went to I wouldn’t want to go home. I have learned to love my school and I’ve made great friendships, but there will always be a piece of me that is very happy to be at home. I am comfortable there and with people who care about me. There is food in the fridge and dinner is made. School can be overwhelming with stress and deadlines, so I associate my time there as less relaxing.
Studying abroad changed me a lot. I shocked myself when I went away to study in London for 4 months. In many ways I matured and grew to become more independent. Being 3,459 miles away from my home forced me find home in myself. However, being distracted with the theater, night life, and a new city to discover helped a little bit too. It wasn’t hard to not miss home. Yet, there were times that I missed my family more than ever.
A piece of advice to anyone who is missing home right now, remember that it’s okay. Some don’t have the luxury of having a safe or happy place to go during the holidays; so those who do are lucky. Call your parents, siblings and friends from home. When done talking to everyone, get dressed and get ready for the day. Ask a friend at school to hang out, do some work, or even go to the gym. As much as home offers, you can create home by creating a place you love.