Being homesick is a reality, not a myth

By Mia Ingui

At this point in the semester, everything seems to be settled.

The freshmen are adjusting to their new home, classes are in full swing — along with the stress of essays, midterms and exams — and the weather has mellowed out to a crisp, cool temperature. Fall is upon us in a beautiful fashion.

But there are some struggles that have just begun. The overwhelming stress, the viruses that seem to be migrating from person to person and the homesickness. If you ever feel like you’re missing your parents and your comfy couch back home, believe me, you are not alone.

Dealing with the prospect  homesickness while at college is a daily task that some days feels completely manageable and almost unapparent — but other days, not so much.

Upperclassmen might tell you this is a myth. They’re big bad college kids, practically legal adults. Why would they miss home? But even deep down, they’ll admit that mom’s hugs and edible cooking are frequently missed while at college, especially after consuming nothing but the cuisine at Eickhoff Hall for weeks on end.

Not missing home becomes near impossible when it comes to my big Italian household. My grandma called me unannounced last week while I was in my philosophy class, so after class, I gave her a call back as I was leaving the Social Sciences Building. She was calling to find out my mailing address so she could send me money and chicken cutlets.

My family is that wonderful, and that strange, which makes it increasingly difficult to focus on my studies here while wondering what they are up to back home. Keeping in touch is key. But no matter how many times a day we FaceTime and Snapchat, it still just isn’t the same living without them.

Dorm room life isn’t bad, but it’s nothing compared to living at home. (tcnj.edu)
Dorm room life isn’t bad, but it’s nothing compared to living at home. (tcnj.edu)

It is even difficult being at school without my high school friends, the friends who simultaneously drove me nuts and kept me sane every single day. Before coming to the College, I was completely convinced that those couple of people that I met before class every morning were the only people on Earth who existed. Here, there is a whole new world of people, all wonderful, but also all different. On my gloomy days here, I would give anything to be back in my best friend’s tiny green car, singing and laughing and just living like we used to. The closest I come now to this is through my tiny phone screen, with that friend now miles away, our conversations fuzzy from the poor connection.

It is safe to say it’s near impossible to go through college and never feel homesick. But college provides new opportunities that would never be experienced otherwise. My family understands that and encourages me every day. It’s great to have such interesting news to report to them, like the auditions I went on or the good grade I got on my paper. Their support makes it all OK, no matter how much I miss them.

Keep your family close (but keep your exam schedule closer, because that’s something you might actually forget about).