Missouri. I live in Missouri. Three years ago if someone would have told me I would move 1,000 miles from home, to Missouri to live in the middle of nowhere and go to school forty minutes from the Iowa border. I would have said, “You’ve lost your mind” But surprisingly, here I am.
I am living 1,000 miles from home in this little town that claims that they have 17,000 people living here. Does that include the students that go to Truman and AT Still? Because that seems extremely small coming from an area that has 2.38 million people living there. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the small town, it’s quaint and cute. But it most definitely isn't home…
I am from a suburb outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. There is a big city, a beautiful lake, and when you drive out of one town you immediately enter right into another. I am four hours from the beach and two hours from the mountains. So many people live in this area that driving down the main highway means it can take an hour to go five miles. I never thought I would say it, but I even miss the traffic sometimes.
Home. There is nothing like it and I definitely took it for granted. I always miss my family and friends like crazy even with college being great. But through this, I am learning it is alright to miss those people and that place because there just isn't anything like home.
In just a few months, I am going to be living in a place that has two feet of snow on the ground and it will be -10 degrees outside. North Carolina barely hits 30 in the winter. If you see a girl walking around campus looking like she's living in the frozen tundra, that’s me, and I obviously am not from here.
Kirksville has every necessity that one needs, Walmart, fast food, one or two decent restaurants and a movie theater. Besides the colleges - that is pretty much it. Yes, I am surviving, surprisingly. I even found this super cute store called Gliks. I almost started hyperventilating because they had Simply Southern shirts, Vineyard Vine, and Yeti cups.
Maybe some of you aren’t literally 1,000 miles from home, like I am, but moving away from all the familiarities of home can feel that far. You could only be a few hours from home, but it still could feel like 1,000. Modern technology certainly makes far distances seem not so far removed — schedule FaceTimes with the family back home. Eat at restaurants and shop at stores that remind you of things back home. It can help you feel somewhat connected, no matter the distance.
Before I left, my Dad gave me advice that it was ok to feel homesick. I didn't know what to expect. When I was preparing to leave for college, I was really excited, but I also had these weird unexplainable emotions of unfamiliarity, anxiety to leave home all at the same time. The morning of my departure, I felt nauseous and thought I was going to throw up because of the knot in my stomach. Once I got on the road, I was good and was ready to take on the 15-hour car ride and get there. I am here now and I am doing well. I have made this place as homey as it can be.
I don’t have a mall or Target: there is isn't a Cookout or Melting Pot to enjoy. Sometimes I eat food that looks like cat food, and I am sleeping in a twin size lofted dorm bed with an ironing board beside me just to make sure I don't fall out. But, I am good. I am alive and well and I am enjoying college. I am making the best out of what it is, and I am thankful for this experience. I know this is where I am supposed to be right now and I am taking advantage of the opportunities that I am given and the lessons that I am learning through it all.