The Part of College No One Talks About: Being Homesick

High school is a mindset that many dream of escaping the second they begin. Being trapped in one town with the same people imposes a lot of challenges and appears to prevent many opportunities for growth. Though many dream of going away to college the second they cross the threshold of high school, what you may come across is a feeling of nostalgia creeping through your bones the time senior year rolls around.

Nobody warns you about how hard it will be: leaving everything you have ever known. You leave the afternoon play dates, the swing-set your dad built when you were five, the town you have always called home.

There is a huge part of college nobody talks about: the mourning period. For the fortunate, your hometown can act like a loss when you are no longer connected to it. No one talks about how hard it is to grieve your old life and all the memories contained within it. In the beginning, a significant part of who you are appears to be gone.

I transferred to Sacred Heart from a school in which I was very unhappy. The environment itself was depressing and unwelcoming, and it was quite possibly the worst place to start college and deal with all of this grief I had. Luckily, I am happier than ever at SHU but I truly believe I would have mourned no matter where I was.

I am surprised it is not discussed often, as homesickness is a pest to break away from. I am incredibly fortunate in the love I have for my hometown, as I know I have had a very privileged upbringing that many weren’t able to have. I have so much love for my town, as I feel it is an incredibly part of my identity. How lucky am I to have a home that makes saying goodbye so hard? When you move away, you leave everything you have ever known behind and this could leave a very unsettling feeling. Homesickness is a feeling that is especially prevalent freshman year, but comes and goes throughout your college experience.

What is beautiful about Sacred Heart is that it is home away from home. There is a familiar comfort that could be found here - a feeling of warmth and protection. I believe a lot of that comes from the people. Being a transfer, I was terrified. However, I have found SHU to be the most welcoming and friendly campus I have ever come across.

I have been feeling homesick this week, and I came across this poem which helped me change my whole perspective. You will never be exactly where you are in your life right now again, and that brings a mixture of fear and excitement. How beautiful is it to dream of a time where you are homesick for a home that is not yet known to you? Home can be places, people, or feelings - many of which you have a whole lifetime to create experiences for. I find it exciting to know that you are always changing - and if you are in an unwanted place right now, you will not be in that place forever.

We are torn between nostalgia for familiarity, and the intrigue of the foreign. We do not always know what it is we are homesick for, because it may not even be known to us yet.

I wrote a poem about home when I went through a rough patch at my previously school, and I came to the realization that home is not home without the people who make it feel like it. There is nothing that a good facetime or visit cannot fix. Wherever you go, always keep the people with you who feel like home and you will never be homesick.

We all experience periods of true homesickness, yet it is never fully discussed. I think it is important to note how common it is. It is something we should talk about, because it is a feeling unlike any other. It is a mixture of pain and graciousness, as we long for something that we are so charmed to have in the first place. At Sacred Heart, I miss my home. When I am home, I miss Sacred Heart. We are so lucky to have two homes - in which we can feel comfortable at either one.

Home is where the Heart is.


Rivers and Roads - The Head and the Heart

Way Back When - Kodaline

Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Ragged Wood - Fleet Foxes

Stop This Train - John Mayer

Beach Baby - Bon Iver

Each Coming Night - Iron and Wine

Chicago - Sufjan Stevens

Ripple - Grateful Dead

All Alone - Acid Ghost

Home (Pt 1 & 2) - Current Joys

The Night We Met - Lord Huron

This Old Dog - Mac Demarco

Guilty Party - The National

Feeling Whitney - Post Malone

Green Aisles - Real Estate

I Know It’s Over - The Smiths

Go Solo - Tom Rosenthal

Winds of Change - Vance Joy