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The distance struggle in college is more than just location

Don’t get me wrong, my college experience has been pretty positive so far. I’ve made some awesome friends and I’m getting involved. However, the hardest thing about college has been the distance from home.

When I say distance, I don’t mean the actual miles that separates Kutztown from my home. It’s not even really the fact that I miss my family. I’m not really homesick, and it feels like the weeks from our visits only last a blink of an eye.

However, that’s the problem. For me, it seems like time stops at home while I’m away, but when I return home, I realize that life has sped away without me. 

I struggle most with the emotional distance I feel from my parents and sisters. It’s difficult going from seeing them every day to now only hearing their voices through a phone maybe once a week. 

I feel like I’m not a part of their lives anymore. I used to know everything that happened in my sisters’ lives, but suddenly, one of my little sisters has a boyfriend, and my whole family has met him. Everyone but me.

When my grandmother’s condition started to deteriorate, it was an agonizing month for my parents, but for me it was only three short phone calls. Next thing I knew, I was driving home for a funeral.

Now a similar fate is falling upon my grandfather, but it can’t seem to touch me here. Being at college feels like being in a bubble where my home is frozen in time, waiting for my return. 

Life keeps moving on, and I fall behind. It’s scary to think that college is a transitional stage before I never live at home again. 

Even though my relationships with my family are changing, I can still be close with them. Sure, it may not be the same as when I lived with them, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My family will always be there for me, no matter the distance between us. 

It’s just hard to remember that sometimes. 

Kaitlyn Resline

Kutztown '25

Kaitlyn Resline is a freshman Professional Writing major and a double minor in Spanish and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is a member of the Kutztown University Marching Unit and Shoofly Literary Magazine. In her free time she loves reading, writing, and practicing her instruments.