Having a Hard Time Being Far Away From Home? IT'S OKAY- Here’s My Experience

Imagine living in the great-big-Windy-City! Crazy, huh? You attend school in the upper north side of Chicago. Not a lot of people get to say they accomplished something that cool. You go from looking forward to the move and experiencing life in the city, to attending classes and meeting new people all at once! Taking the L by yourself with no experience can be confusing and a little overwhelming. Looking at all the different stops and identifying what the colors mean for each line can be tedious! Once you get the hang of it though, you get a sense of pride. A sense of, “Yes, I did that all by myself and now I can take the L anywhere.” Taking the L to the city and looking at how different your surroundings are compared to home is incredible. Life is different.

About a month into school, you no longer feel that adrenaline or excitement or even happiness. You miss home. I, more than anyone, understand how this feels since my family lives down south in big ole’ Texas. I now live 847 miles away from home and I definitely don’t miss the 110-degree weather or Fort Worth’s little downtown with about three skyscrapers to look at. There’s something about that familiarity that we grow accustomed to, the routine we follow for years, then suddenly life as we know it is completely different. Coming to a city like Chicago, where I don’t know street names, surrounding towns, or public transportation, was a big change. It created an uncertainty and unsettledness in me that at first I hated. However, that unfamiliarity in my chest shrunk as I adapted to my surroundings and took in how much I loved my new home.

Beginning your first year of college can feel like starting over again. You have to meet new people and make a new group of friends. I always thought of myself as a people person but three months into college I only have a few solid friends I do things with. And that’s perfectly okay! The balance between acquiring a social life and your academics can be challenging. Do I attend this gathering I was invited to or study for one of tomorrow’s ten exams? What I found helps me best is studying for a certain amount of hours depending on how big my workload is.

However, there are times where you’re not struggling with school or hanging with friends and your mind has time to wander. You can go straight to thinking of that sadness and lonesomeness you feel from being so far away from home. I’m here to tell you not to listen to it. Instead, you can try to distract yourself and get involved until you don’t have time to dwell on those emotions. With time, things will fall into place and those feelings will pass.

I can’t say that I’ve been at Loyola for very long but this new chapter in my life has already impacted me so much. Joining clubs like Hall Council and Her Campus has helped me put myself out there and begin my new routine in life with people who have all kinds of different experiences and skills. Find what brings you joy and do it. The ease it provides will help you cope with sadness until you adjust.