Feelin’ a Little Homesick?

It’s that time of year when the first round of tests are on
the brink. NO!!!!!! I STILL WANT SUMMER!!! Stress, the feeling of being
overwhelmed and pressured to get an “A” consumes everybody’s minds accompanied by
a lack of sleep, lack of a social life, and a lack of a proper diet. This is
the time where I would love to go home and have a home-cooked meal and forget
about the stress for a few hours, but that’s not a reasonable request for
people, especially those who are far enough from home where they cannot simply
take a short car ride to be back home. For those of you who are not in the
Midwest and are thinking about going to Hope, this fact can be scary and
intimidating because Mom and Dad aren’t around to give you a hug and
encouraging words to keep you going. Instead, you have to depend on yourself to
get through the rough times, but don’t forget you have RAs, friends and a great
community to turn to if you ever need to talk things out sometimes.

For me,
being 2,000 miles away from home did not bother me at all my first year at Hope. A lot of my friends
from Michigan became homesick the first few weeks of school, but for me it was
the opposite. I knew in the back of my mind that no matter how much I wanted to go home and hug my parents, it wasn’t a plausible request; I basically had to
suck it up. However, when December rolled around, that’s when I got homesick
because I realized how much I really did miss my family and the anticipation of
seeing them that month made me miss them more! Some friends thought the fact that I didn’t
get homesick much was pretty strange, but freshman year is so busy and filled
with new experiences and learning that there isn’t a whole lot of time to fret
about not being at home.

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right

— Maya Angelou

contrast, this year was completely different from
freshman year. For instance, I became homesick the first week of school
I already established friend groups and knew the campus and its
already, so I had already settled in my new home for the year. I was
pretty surprised by this considering I had little difficulty starting a
new life away from home during freshman year. I guess it’s the fact that
we’re all growing up that makes me anxious and wanting to be home in the
familiar and safe place that I grew up in. Now is the time when anxiety
and reality kicks in and I start asking myself questions like, “Will I
end up going home for summer again?” or “How many times will I see my
friends this year because they’re all starting their own lives?” or even
“Did I pick the right major?”. These are the questions that scare me
because nobody knows how things are going to turn out in the long-run,
but all you can do is move forward and rely on your relationships and
knowledge to get you through difficult times. Everybody has to grow up
at some point, so college is a key transitioning point in most peoples’

Getting back to being homesick, I believe everybody gets homesick
at some point in their lives—some sooner than others—but
that’s what makes us grow and become the independent young adults we
are. Thank goodness for technology such as Facebook and Skype because even when I’m thousands of
miles away from family, or a few states over from friends who are in
college, technology helps relieve that
homesick feeling and can help ease the heartache of being separated from
the people you spent most of your time and life with back at home. Like
they say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and I believe that this is
dead on. For me, the longer I’m away from my friends and family, the
more I appreciate them when I do get to see them. This is because it’s not simply
the fact of seeing them that makes me overjoyed, but the little quirks
that usually annoyed me, make me happy because it reminds me of them. I
definitely believe that being homesick is completely okay because
everybody experiences it. Feeling this way can help show your deep commitment to the people
you love and the capacity to feel that way towards other people in a
new surrounding as you grow into who you are supposed to be at college.

I’m aware that this is a more personal blog, so feel free to leave any comments or concerns about being homesick you may have and I would love to write back 🙂

Posted inCampus Life, Home

Published by Leslie Kempers

Hey Everyone! My name is Leslie Kempers and I am from Santa Ana, California. I am a Senior this year and am majoring in Exercise Science so after my time here at Hope, I will be pursuing a career in physical therapy! I have previously been involved with Nykerk and CASA and am excited to see what this year has in store for me. This place has become my second home and I have cherished every moment here at Hope College. Go Dutchmen!!!