To The Homesick College Student, From One Who's Been There Before

To The Homesick College Student, From One Who's Been There Before

Don't worry, we all really miss our moms and dogs.

To all the homesick college students (especially the freshmen),

Starting college is hard. You'll find that very few of your peers will tell how easy college is or how they just blew through everything, and that's because it's nearly impossible to just breeze through college like you may (or may not) have done in high school. Your classwork load and tests and everything else you have going on will not help your feelings of homesickness that you may already be feeling.

You may constantly just have a feeling in your stomach of sadness or longing for the familiarity of home. Or maybe certain incidents or foods in the dining hall or TV shows will trigger that desire to just be back home surrounded by your family and your own room and your pets and everything else you had to leave behind. Throwing yourself into an unfamiliar setting and having to navigate your own controls can be a lot for any student, but especially freshmen, to handle.

Some people can go through college without having a "severe" case of homesickness. Maybe they live relatively close by and can pop in and out of home fairly easily, or maybe they just feel like their family is still in their back pocket in a sense and never feel like they're without them. But for some of us, going home is a rare occurrence and seeing family, especially siblings we're particularly close with, is harder to coordinate and months can go by without seeing them in person.

Homesickness is natural. It's completely typical to just have those feelings of wanting to go home, and at times, it may be bad enough that you just want to pack up all of your stuff and move back home altogether. You may want to cry (which is OK, just let it all out) and you may just want to call your mom or sister (and you call them, let them know you miss them). Don't feel silly for missing home, even if you may seem to be the only person you know actually upset about not being able to be home. I promise, nearly everyone is feeling the way you, to some degree.

However, while it's perfectly good and OK to feel homesick, try not to let it "ruin" your actual college experience for yourself. You may want to just stay curled up in bed and catch up on your Netflix shows or whichever other way you want to cope, but you may discover those feelings only getting worse, rather than subsiding. Some days, try to go out and meet people in your hall or go out to eat or hang out with friends that you already have. You may find that the more you hang out with others, it may distract the homesick feelings you have as you adjust more to your new life.

Whatever ways best help you to combat those homesick feelings, that's great for you. Those feelings may stay in there a little dormant and may come up from time to time, but learn ways to handle them. You may want to schedule a weekly FaceTime with your mom, get regular pictures of your dog from your sister, or just request a little care package. You can get through these little hurdles to have the best college experience that you can.

Best wishes,

A Former (Very) Homesick Student

Cover Image Credit: Kayla Master / @speciallykay

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.


The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!


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