Why it is okay to be homesick
Being a junior and 20 years old, I used to be embarrassed that I often feel homesick and miss my family and dogs everyday. I have now lived in Denton and attended TWU for a little over a month, and I still feel homesick, but I know now that it is a normal, valid and common feeling. The truth is that homesickness knows no age, and whether they are willing to admit it or not, it is a feeling most individuals experience. Homesickness can result from moving away, and is often exacerbated by the new environment and lack of familiarity and challenges that accompany it. Leaving a town you have always known and the people who have always been by your side is well– terrifying.
Realities of homesickness
I am very grateful that I have the means and support to move away and attend university, but I still have days where I wish I could pack my bags and head home. When a cockroach decided to invade me and my sister’s apartment, I jokingly said to her, “This is the last straw. I’m moving home.” I believe another aspect of homesickness that few are willing to admit to is the expectation that university is one big party. I often get asked by family and friends from home “How is it living away from home?” Each time I am asked this, I feel pressured to tell them how much I love being far from home and how great it is, but the reality is sometimes it sucks and I wish I could hug my dogs and parents and tell them about my day. Luckily, Facetime exists, and I would be lying if I said I did not take full advantage of that and Facetime my family weekly. Seeing your loved ones and hearing their voices is invaluable and can ease pangs of homesickness.
How to cope with homesickness
It is important to allow one-self to feel homesick and accept the feeling. Missing what is familiar and loved is human nature. Allow yourself to feel the pain and pit in your stomach. It may never truly fade, but adapting to it gets easier. Get involved inside and outside of school, try new things, take advantage of your new environment, Facetime your family and pets. A classmate sitting next to you is likely going through the same thing, but does not want to admit it. Reach out to others and find support and solidarity that homesickness is expected and normal. It is okay to be homesick and honest about it, so the next time someone asks how college is and you are feeling homesick, go ahead and say so; they probably are too.