As many of you know, I was born in California and moved to Pennsylvania at the age of 10. I have spent half my life in CA and half my life in PA, which in itself is an amazing experience. I have had the privilege of experiencing both ‘cultures’ and, of course, very different climates.
Anyway, I decided to go back to California for college but struggled with being so far from home [Pennsylvania]. Several factors went into my homesickness: my boyfriend goes to college in Philadelphia, my parents (who I love spending time with) are in PA, my cozy room is in PA, my favorite restaurants are in PA… the list continues. However, I think every college student hits a point where they start calling their dorm room ‘home’ and that’s when you know things are okay.
I say this because I started referring to my school and my tiny dorm room as home. I remember experiencing this when I moved to PA; I never knew what to call our new house because I wasn’t used to it being home.
That being said, I began to realize that things are okay. When people asked, “Oh Gilly, how’s school?” I used to lie and say things were going well but truthfully I was struggling more than I wanted to let on. My automated response stated, “Well, it’s definitely an adjustment being away from home but things are going great!” I guess that wasn’t a lie, it WAS an adjustment being away from home, but I nearly felt like I was trying to convince myself that things were going okay.
Still, one weekend I found myself laying in bed watching Netflix on a Saturday morning (this is very rare for me) and I didn’t feel homesick at all. I was actually content. Typically I need things planned, especially on the weekend so I don’t feel homesick, but there I was lying around doing nothing.
At that moment I realized things really are great. Yes, it may have taken me 6 months [and the mindset that I would be returning home the following weekend for Spring Break], but it was still something.
It’s hard at times because you think you’re the only one who is homesick or not having fun, but the truth is everybody feels the same way. Your friends might go out every weekend and seem to be having the time of their life, but I guarantee they have moments of homesickness as well.
Whether you’ve had this realization yet, are hoping to, or are scared for your future college experience, I promise you it’s the most difficult and wonderful experience you’ll have thus far. I understand that some people aren’t ready; I didn’t think I was at first, but I realized I would never really be ready unless I just did it.
This is coming from someone who just finished her freshman year of college: be nervous, be scared, be excited, but embrace it. People don’t lie- college goes by SO quickly. I didn’t believe it at first, but I have a feeling it’ll be senior year before I know it.