For those who aren’t going back home and wish they could.
“I can’t believe I’m seeing you in person,” my dad told me recently when he came to visit.
After months of seeing him in still photographs and videos, it didn’t seem real.
And then, when we parted once again, he cried as he never does. Tears fell down his face as he waved goodbye.
As I watched the highway, my phone vibrated; an incoming text message awaited me.
“You don’t know how happy it makes me feel this 48 hours together,” he said. “I am both sad and happy seeing you making your dreams come true.”
After that message, I knew seeing him was going to become another memory in the back of my head.
But the overwhelming feeling of emptiness wasn’t that easy to forget.
Not everything is an exciting experience awaiting you. Missing home is a big part of the college experience people don’t tell you.
We all know the feeling: excitement as you drive miles away from home to advance in your life and career.
And for you, it’s like a movie, where you press pause. Nobody moves, except for you: the main character. And often, you would have those cameos of characters from the past, those that meant something for you.
However, life isn’t like that.
Outside, your new bubble people are still growing and moving. And they’re missing out on your new life as much as you’re also missing out on theirs.
I live more than 4,000 miles away from home.
And since I got to college, I have missed out on many things I wish I hadn’t: seeing my niece grow old, my mom’s birthdays, my dad’s achievements and the last days with my grandpa. And the memories they have together, and I haven’t.
No matter how far away you are and what you aspire to, feeling homesick is normal.
So, it all culminates into one question: what do you do when you have the home blues?
I mean, I don’t think there is a clear answer for that.
You may be beginning college and feeling the thrill of getting to a new place. Or you may be realizing that you miss home more than you thought, like me. But I am here to share a few things that help me to ease my homesickness:
Schedule your phone calls
I know life moves fast, and you are busy. Still, this isn’t an excuse to avoid those who still want to be part of you. So, if you and your loved ones keep missing out on each other, try scheduling a time to talk. You can schedule calls around your weekly schedule or set up a definitive time.
Get everybody of those away from you involved
When we have someone away from us, we often forget to involve them in what’s happening in our lives. And without even noticing, we stop providing the energy of those away from us. So, this time, instead of answering “not much” to the “what’s new with you” question, tell those interested what’s actually new. Tell them your achievements and moments of glory and be patient when you have to explain things they may not understand.
Create new traditions
Traditions are of great importance when forging memories, and every family or person has its or his or her own. However, some of us might now be too far away to participate in a tradition we once valued. So, create a new one! Choose something that might be connected to a previous memory or create a new one. It can also be something big or small. But regardless of anything, the most important thing is to get creative.
If you are far away from home, you are missing out on a lot of things, and you might feel as if hearing about events happening to those you love isn’t enough, which can be true. However, take advantage of the anecdotes people are telling you.
There’s no such thing as too many questions if you really want to know what happened. Ask for details, reactions and descriptions! You can imagine them and laugh about it. And once you get home, just ask your family or friends to recreate them. For me, it’s a good way to create new memories from the moments you missed.
Ask for support
Finally, ask for support. When it comes to homesickness, it’s good to talk, and UF has a lot of resources for you to ask for help and support during rough times.