I have always had what I consider to be a close relationship with my family. Sure, arguments just to see who can be the loudest have a typical constancy in the Miller household, but it's just because we all love each other and spend a lot of time in close proximity.
Throughout my high school career I could not wait to leave and get out of my generic adventourless town. Knowing myself, I knew I would be homesick at first, but understood that stepping out of my comfort zone and away from those I consistently relied on, would eventually help form the future me and create a stronger more individually strong woman. I saw college as this opportunity and counted down the days until I was able to move out.
What I wasn't expecting though, was for freshman year to hit me like a brick of overwhelming emotion. The whole year I went through different phases of loneliness. Not because I wasn't socializing, seeing as I would make an effort to talk to and hang out with friends constantly to try to fill the void, but rather because I wasn't used to not seeing, hugging, and spending time with my family on a daily basis.
For awhile I didn't even know what was affecting me and creating a shallow unlikable persona I was no longer able to identify with. By mid spring semester I finally realized I was just plain homesick. Contrary to prior belief, it wasn't a deep rooted issue with Philly, the people, or college, just an absence of what I had always relied on. Eventually, after I identified the issue I realized that it was okay for me to miss the people I feel strongest towards, and that doesn't make me less of a grown up.
Now, as a sophomore, the constant homesickness has dissipated. I have experienced living in Philadelphia in my own apartment, learned how to use public transportation to go to work and go out with friends, set up and pay bills, and overall feel more grounded on my own in the big city. Although this may be the case, the major issue I have found with my homesickness is that it spikes to an utmost high after visiting the fam and returning to Philly. Even though I am mentally aware of it, I cannot prevent my brain from sinking into a temporary depression every time I return to Philly.
Surprisingly, I was talking to my friend whom acknowledged that the same phenomenon happens to her. Without fail, following every visit to our family, we would return to our austere apartments and find ourselves caught up the feeling up empty loneliness. For days following, as I would walk around Philly and try to maintain my standard disposition, but find myself unable to find pleasure in what normally drives a permanent smile on my face.
Recently, what I've found tremendously helps, is my constant communication with my family. Despite the fact that I possess an unwavering sense of independence, I love to keep my family in the loop of my whereabouts and day to day blunders. To systematically maintain my relationship with my family, as well as to speed up my mental recovery from home visits, I attempt to text and call at least one person in my immediate family on a daily basis. Even if just to hear their voice, this helps ground and remind me that I'm not alone in this world, and no matter what happens, I have a stupendous support system loudly cheering my name.