What Everyone Will Catch in College
Regardless of what your major is, or what your sexual orientation, or even what your favorite TV show is, you have a ten out of ten chance of catching this within the first semester of your college experience. No, it’s not chlamydia—but that’s still floating around so make sure to wrap that frat boy up! So what is it that everyone will catch in college? I’m talking about getting home sick. Sure, for out of state students this is something you assumed would happen—no matter how much you kept telling yourself you wanted nothing more than to be thousands of miles from your hometown. But then there are students who live only a few hours away from their childhood homes (and take full advantage of stacking up their laundry baskets as high as they can go before shoving them in the car and taking them back to mom’s) who never thought this could affect them! And then there are the students who are getting their college education in the city they were born in and raised in—who will still feel this phenomenon! I guarantee that no matter what your situation is, the one thing you will catch in college is the uncomfortable wave that is feeling homesick.
For those who are situated in the latter two examples, identifying that you are homesick will probably be harder than for those who are out of state mulling over memories of senior year or summers in their parent’s backyards. That’s because it seems silly to miss a place that you could just jump in your car to see at any given moment. While homesick usually means you literally miss home, it could also be missing the life that your home was associated with – the routines with your parents, family, and pets. It makes sense that this affects everyone at some point because even though college is a whirlwind of fun—especially in the beginning—it’s still a completely new chapter of your life.
Dare I say it’s a whole new book in your life! Think about it, you’re surrounded by new characters, in an unfamiliar place, learning new concepts, all while figuring out what type of alcohol wrecks you the most that night and the least the next day. Feeling homesick can be the sadness you feel when you realize the exact way your old life was is completely out of the picture. Even when winter or spring break rolls around, things won’t be exactly the same as when you used to kick it with the crew every Friday night since forever.
While it seems like being homesick is now just the unavoidable onset depression you’ll feel right before midterms, try to look at it with a silver lining. It’s one of the less critical things you could catch in college. If you’re missing the way your life used to be, it means you lived it well. And you’ve probably created so many fun memories already in your freshman year, and you’ll continue to do so as the years pass by. And then one day you’ll wake up and miss the good ol’ college days! Missing the past is just a way life reminds you it’s been good.
So, when the random sadness creeps in one cloudy morning and all you want is a benign, routine day from your past: reflect on it, smile about it, and then remind yourself you have to make it to this 8 AM class because your grade depends on it. But remember that when the home sickness hits, it’s natural, you’re not alone, and it will pass.