It’s OK to be homesick

Jenna Mandozzi

The night before I moved back into school this year, I cried. A lot. This was very confusing for me because I was under the impression that, as a sophomore who is admittedly obsessed with her school, I would have no problem leaving my hometown behind to tackle round two at Quinnipiac. Yet while I was excited to be living with my best friends and returning to a course load that I found genuinely stimulating, I found myself filled with anxiety and crying as I said goodbye to my brothers and parents and voyaged back to Hamden.

It seemed like a common phenomenon during freshman year: hallways filled with students calling their parents, long distance FaceTime calls with best friends from home, and frequent visits back to hometowns to return to hot, home-cooked meals. However, my understanding was that sophomores were supposed to assimilate easily and integrate back into the school year without so much as a second thought, hence the confusion about my apprehension for moving back in.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense for me to be upset despite the fact that I was now a college veteran. Home, for most people, represents a safe haven. Home is somewhere where I can feel freely. I don’t have to worry about acting a certain way or feeling a certain way in the presence of roommates. I am also surrounded by people who have known me my whole life; people who understand how I live, and know and understand who I was before college. This is a luxury that is hard to come by within the confines of a residence hall.

When entering freshman year, there is a large unknown variable. Freshmen are forced to compare their expectations to media, going into their experience blindly. However as a returning student, the unknown becomes known. This is great in terms of social life. Rather than worry endlessly about whether I would have friends, I came into sophomore year knowing that I would, which alleviated a lot of previous college anxiety. However, in knowing there comes a lack of blissful ignorance. I knew how stressful classes could be this time around and therefore felt apprehensive about returning to academics. I knew that I would miss my family, which made leaving even harder. These are all facets that presented themselves after freshman year and contributed to my feelings of homesickness.

So, I have decided that although I love my school and all that I am learning and involved with, it is OK for me to feel homesick. It means that I have an amazing place to return to every summer. I am loved by those in my hometown and I love being there. Rather than being somebody who has no intention of looking back towards my roots, I embrace where I came from and look forward to the times I get to return. It doesn’t matter that I am a sophomore, or that I am happy here and love my Quinnipiac experience. It simply means I am lucky enough to have two places each year to be sad to leave, and excited to return to.