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Mental Health

How not seeing my family for a year impacted me…

No one expected 2020 to turn out the way it did. A year ago I was thinking about how I would spend my month of August when I would go back home. My family lives in West Africa so that’s where I consider 'home'. Then last October, Covid-19 appeared and changed everyone’s lives changed in a matter of months. This has also, obviously, impacted my summer plans since the borders closed and no one could travel.  So, my flight that was scheduled for August 1st was cancelled, and all my chances of seeing my family were gone with the flight.

 

When I first left home for university in 2018, I never thought I would miss my family as much as I do. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I would miss them to a certain extent, but I always thought of myself as a pretty independent person so I didn’t think I would miss them a lot. But here I am, a little more than a year without seeing them (other than through a phone screen and I’m really beginning to feel their absence). I try to talk to them as much as I can but the time difference, work, and now school does not help.

 

This past year a lot of things happened to me; I became a better person than I was before (at least in my point of view) and I understand better than I did before the importance of family. To be honest my relationship with my family was always pretty special because I felt more comfortable with some than others and you could feel the tension during some moments. And let’s be honest I am a little bit stubborn and I am not the kind of person who accepts being wrong. So, we had a lot of arguments about the way some things should be done.  In hindsight, I now understand what they were trying to teach me and see that they were right and that I should have listened and understood what they meant (not in every situation though). I don’t just miss my family; I also miss the “homey” feeling. I miss being able to go home and have a homecooked meal and just feeling like you’re at home. It also kind of makes you feel lonely when I was your roommates go home for a national holiday and you’re the only one in the house because you can't just go home. During the school year, it was fine because I knew I would eventually see my family but now it just feels different. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back home. Especially now that the Covid-19 cases number are rising again and the fact that the borders could close, again, at any moment.

 

With all the time I spent without seeing them and the changes that happened to me I really miss my family and wish I could show them the person I am now. Realizing that I miss them a lot and being able to say it out loud and posting it on the internet (where everything stays forever) means a lot to me. Through it, I can see how much I’ve changed Maéva from two years could’ve never done that.

 

Maeva Lago

Laurier Brantford '22

I am Maéva Lago-Dogo a Digital Media & Journalism major. I love K-pop, K-drama, traveling, Motorsports and spending a dangerous amount of time on Twitter and Netflix. Follow me on my Instagram @maeva_lagodogo.
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