The Starting Line: Ready to Go Home

Amidst naked trees, pee on the toilet seat, and icy treks from the shower to the dorm room, the happy charm of college is beginning to wear thin.

Right now, I just want to go home and watch Desperate Housewives with my mom and not wear flip-flops in the shower! Ah, such are the woes of homesickness.

While this time is not as bad as the last time homesickness hit (sixth grade 3-day sleep away camp. . .never again), it certainly has taken its toll. Recently, I’ve found myself creeping through my high school albums on Facebook an unhealthy amount, as well as reading up on news from Cincinnati (my hometown) that I otherwise wouldn’t care about (apparently a fire halted production of a local potato chip company…).

I’m sure my lovely suitemates are already starting to get annoyed with my constant “I miss Ohio!” and variations of it — so what do I do to combat it?

It definitely helps to stay in touch with friends from back home. Because Thanksgiving break is so near, I know a lot of friends and I are already planning times to hang out over that week. We have happy coffee breaks, shopping trips and ole-fashioned sleepovers planned. It’s a nice, fuzzy feeling to realize that you have things to look forward to and people to meet up with when you go back.

Also, I’ve found it helps to call my mom sometimes. She helps on two levels: First, she happily agrees to cook my carefully selected menu for the week I’m home—nothing beats Mom’s Chinese dumplings. But perhaps more importantly, she fills me in on the fact that absolutely nothing is happening back at home. None of my friends are in town and the weather is just as cold there as it is here. My car is still sitting idle in our driveway and the kids who still go to high school still have to wake up at 6 in the morning to catch the bus.

I feel like sometimes, when I’m homesick, the idea of home and the past takes on this happy golden glow that seems irresistible, when, in reality, life at home is considerably less magnetic. Yeah, home will always offer delicious food and a bedroom all to myself, but it’s not quite the same. My high school friends and I have already taken a step away from that, and they were an inherent part of what made home feel so good. Sometimes, I just have to tell myself that I’m longing for something that isn’t actually there anymore, it’s just a time period that’s already passed.

Regardless, going back for break will be wonderful—I’ll get to see friends and live a week in the life of my old self, enjoying home and curing my homesickness. But probably the cure will be in seeing that life back at home isn’t quite the happy glow that I’m remembering.

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