Beat the Occassional Bout of Homesickness
Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
As fall wraps itself around campus, dropping pumpkins, red leaves, and Addie’s hot apple cider in its wake, it’s hard not to get nostalgic for the falls of our past. Yes, drinking the aforementioned Addie’s cider in the library is pretty good, but nothing can quite compare to being home in the fall. Grabbing a pumpkin from some club handing them out in the Quad is nice, but it’s not pumpkin picking. There is no itchy, sneezy hayride, no hot cider donuts, no trudging around a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect one. Although being on campus has so many perks, it’s hard to not miss some things as the seasons change. So, here is my guide to beating homesickness, because hey, it happens to the best of us.
I don’t really get homesick too often, to be honest. I miss my family for sure, but I am usually in such a dizzying state of mind that combines bliss at being at Boston College with crazy business that I hardly have time to notice how fast I am running, and how much I wish I was back in Mendham, N.J. But as it settles in, here are the cures I have found to work:
Step one: tune into a favorite movie. If I were home, I know I would be watching Hocus Pocus, Dan in Real Life, Home for the Holidays, and Meet Me In St. Louis to fulfill that fall movie craving. So sometimes, just taking a night off and playing these movies, even if it is on the cramped twin bed in my dorm room, is not so bad. Movies have the power to not only distract us, but to also bring us back to a time and place. For a good laugh, a good cry, or a good distraction, turn to your own favorite holiday movies that remind you of home. Sometimes, they are all the reminder I need to cheer up and feel a little better.
Maybe the best way to get over a feeling that is haunting you, homesickness in this case, is just to embrace it. For me, this manifests itself in looking at old pictures. My mom took thousands of pictures of my brothers, sisters, and I when we were little. Last Christmas break, I took some time to scan some of these old photos onto the computer, and now I have a good 300 pictorial memories to bring me back. Yes, this may be a sad option, and one that elicits tears, but dwelling in your homesickness can be powerful. Embrace and release the feeling. The pictures might also provide a good, much-needed laugh, so scan yourself some good ones to keep you company.
The Internet is a wonderful place—hop on Skype and video chat that family. Yes, you will probably be jealous. I know I am when I see my parents and siblings sitting around the fireplace at my house together, but it’s good to see their faces and hear their voices, even if it is only over the Internet—it’s better than nothing. I know you have time to video chat them, so there is no reason to spend another hour doing nothing on the Internet—be constructive with your screen time.
If you really can’t get over the feeling, delve into your work. You can’t be homesick if you don’t have time to think about it. There is always more homework to be done, more possible preparation, and further studying. Get organized, clean your room, hang out with your friends, join a club, learn a language, get addicted to a new television show—I don’t care. You can’t wallow forever—you either need to find a way to get through this rough patch, or take a weekend off and book a flight home.
Most importantly, don’t pretend you aren’t homesick. This seems to be an epidemic especially prevalent within the freshman class. Everyone is, apparently, having the times of their lives every moment of every day, but there is no way in hell that is true. I’ve been a freshman, you aren’t kidding anyone. We all have rough days. Transitioning to a whole new life in college can be hard—don’t be afraid to confide in your friends. They will understand, and are probably going through the same things.
Sadly, it never goes away. Maybe the feeling lessens over the years, but even seniors miss the allure that is home, stability, comfort, care, and a home-cooked meal.
So find some ways to lift yourself out of the funk and be grateful that the holidays are right around the corner, and many of us will be lucky enough to return home to the families we miss.