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What it’s Really Like to Be Apart from Family



Recently my family moved to Wisconsin so that my mom would be able to be closer with the rest of our family. Most of my direct and extended family is from the Midwest and the Northwest, so for her to move there was a smart idea. My grandparents live 20 miles away, and most of my other extended family lives within 100 miles. By the time my mom was ready to leave Virginia, I was knee deep in college and did not want to transfer again. I decided to stay, and they left. They have now lived there for a few months, which is more than enough time for me to have missed all of them terribly. I’m close to my mom and my sister, so being apart from them has been difficult at times.

On a night in July, I was planning to break up with my boyfriend at the time and was panicking miserably. My family had been gone for about a month and what I really wanted was to be able to talk to my mom and/or sister. I texted my sister and let her know what I was about to do, and she called me a few minutes later. All she could do was stay on the phone with me until he got to my apartment and I was able to “do the deed,” but I was so grateful for it. My mom also joined in the fun once she figured out that I was on the phone with my sister, which happens almost every time I’m on the phone with her and she is in my mom’s house.

One thing that was a rude awakening for me has been that it is now going to be much more difficult for me to visit. Plane tickets are not cheap, and taking a week or two off work is also expensive, especially if you work a job where you do not get any paid time off. I was able to take a week off work to surprise my dad, and the tickets were fairly pricey, considering the trip was spontaneous. As you get older, however, you also learn that there are so many things that are more important than money and financial security. Sometimes I’ll be in the area my family used to live in and think “Man, I wish they were still just a 30 minute drive away.” But I will also remember that they are all just a phone call away, or a flight. They are still here and I can still spend time with them, just maybe not in the same way I used to.

Since my family has been gone I have also created stronger bonds with my friends. My friends are my family now, and I treasure each and every one of them (I treasured them before but I appreciate them more and more as time goes on). When you are far away from someone you care about you tend to really appreciate the people that are near you. I am so grateful for everyone in my life here in Virginia, as well as my faraway family. I miss the heck out of my family but I know I will see them again. (The picture below is of my sister and I in 2012!)

My name is Danielle (Danni for short), and I am a transfer student here at ODU! Before I came here I wrote for Her Campus at CNU, and I was studying Computer Engineering of all things! I'm majoring in Graphic Design now, and minoring in Spanish. I also work as a delivery driver at Domino's. Besides writing I also enjoy photography, cooking, and dyeing my hair dark red!
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