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How Conquering Homesickness Helped Me Appreciate My Parallel Worlds

I live in two parallel worlds; the only connection between the two is me. The first is the one I grew up in, my Kansas world. This world has my family and my friends that I have known for over 15 years. This world is safe and will always be there for me as it has been for my entire life. It is my definition of comfort.

My other world has my “new life,” my college world. This world has all my college friends and my individual independent life. This world is fun, risky and continuously makes me learn something new about myself. 

This phenomenon is not isolated to a small group of people. In a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information about homesickness in college students, the National Center for Biotechnology information found that during “the first 10 weeks of college, 94% of students reported experiencing homesickness at some point.” This study also emphasized that people who were less settled into college felt more feelings of homesickness. This is something that has become inevitable for students leaving home and living on campus. But there are many solutions to homesickness, and personally, finding my people led me to feel less homesick. It was through finding an amazing group of people that I started to miss them immensely when I went home for the first time. 

The best advice I can give to you to stop feeling homesick is to make your friends your second family. When I did this, Saint Louis University turned from a place I just lived in to a place I call home.

While homesickness for college students is a topic that is widely discussed and studied, one thing that is discussed less is that there is no perfect world. I looked forward to this new college life. However, once I experienced both worlds, I still find myself missing the world that I am not in. When I am home, I miss my college friends and a life where I do not have to ask permission about anything. But when I am at school, I yearn for my mom’s cooking and even my dad’s horrible jokes. These two worlds pull me in opposite directions and make it immensely difficult to enjoy both worlds fully when I am longing for the other one. 

It’s impossible to have both lives at once; you have to make a sacrifice for one or the other. But there is a way to balance both lives, and I know this is true because I have done it. Finding your friends at college, I have learned, is not enough. You have to also prioritize your college friends and your friends and family back home. Once you make something a priority you will find time for it no matter what. By doing this I have been able to find a balance between both my worlds. 

I made my decision to create these two worlds before I even knew what a hard decision it would be. But in the past two years of going to an out of state school and the memories I have here at SLU proved this was the right choice for me. I found a way to adjust to my homesickness, and I promise with time, you will, too.

Amreen is a sophomore on the Pre-Law track with a major in Political Science and Economics. Amreen was born in Dallas, Texas but calls Kansas her home. She loves to write about her life and her personal view of the world around her!
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