Adjusting to college has its ups and downs for everyone. I have friends that are extremely homesick and need to stay busy to avoid thinking about it too much. And then I have friends that haven't really fully grasped they're in college yet and are still waiting for all of the emotions to hit them. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle, at this point.
I moved in about a week ago and immediately started making friends and have had no trouble keeping myself busy. I've had a few chances to briefly speak with my parents on the phone, but even then I wasn't emotional or stressed about the next time I'll see them.
I'm happy where I am and am and although I love my family, I know that there's FaceTime and other means of communication that I can have with them. The only thing that I'm really having trouble with is how much I miss my pets.
My family adopted my dog when I was in kindergarten. She was two-years-old and the most lovable ball of energy that I've ever met. She would run and play, but always be sure to be gentle around my brother who was a toddler at the time. I've always loved how good she is with kids. That dog has been my protector, best friend, "shoulder to cry on" and so much more for as long as I can distinctly remember. I can't remember a single time where I've had to live more than a week without her being with me.
Now that I'm in college, I am constantly wondering how she's doing and if she misses me as much as I miss her. I have her paw print on a piece of paper that I look at every night before I go to sleep. I miss her so much. But that doesn't mean I'm homesick.
We didn't adopt my cat until I was turning 16. I had been adamant about adopting another animal, and had my heart set on getting a cat, since I knew my dog wouldn't do well with another dog.
My parents had agreed to let me adopt a cat if I opted out of having a "Sweet 16." I don't know why but I think they were surprised by how willing I was to pick a cat over a party. They warned me about how hard it would be leaving her when I go to college, but I didn't listen.
I adopted a sweet, yet skittish, American Shorthair from the humane society where I volunteered. She became my "child" and for the longest time I was the only person she trusted.
With a ton of coaxing and treats, my brothers and mother have began to earn her trust and I sense that my dad is now trying to work on it too. But it's still hard being in college knowing that she's probably at home wondering where I am and if I'll be home soon. I know that she doesn't understand what I'm doing and it kills me to think that she might feel as though I abandoned her. When I was home, she'd sleep on my back after I got settled in under the covers. And if I wasn't in the room by 11 p.m., she'd come out meowing and looking for me.
I never really knew how much I'd miss that. But that doesn't mean I'm homesick.
I miss my animals more than words can explain, but I love my life at college. I know they will be waiting with all of the love in the world when I visit home, but it is still hard being away from them. I guess being an animal lover comes with some sacrifices that need to made and emotional rollercoasters along the way. But once again, that doesn't mean I'm homesick.