Posted by Joanna Haug
I was homesick at many points during my first semester of college. I missed the little things– good gulf seafood, hugs from my mom, choir practice, even the swamps of south Louisiana. The mere thought of one of those things could make me tear up. College is scary– there’s no denying that. You’ve spent eighteen years in the same environment, and suddenly you’re wrenched away and placed in a totally new life. The loneliness hit me hard, even with an incredibly supportive group of people around me.
But when I went home for Thanksgiving, everything changed. Home felt the same, but also oddly different. I had the strangest mix of feelings. I was happy to be with my family and to see my friends, and everything fell right back into place. But at the same time, I missed things about UTD that I hadn’t even realized I loved. I missed knocking on my friends’ doors at 1 AM just to see if they were awake (they inevitably are). I missed my walk to the Activity Center to work out. I missed late night movies with my roommates, and I almost even missed IHOP. I had missed the little things about home, but suddenly, the tables were turned.
Coming home had an incredibly unexpected effect on my adjustment to college. I thought I would be even more homesick coming back from Thanksgiving, but it turned out that time-away showed me just how much I love my life at school. When people asked me how I liked college, I could honestly tell them, “It’s been an adjustment, but I absolutely love it.”
When I returned to UTD, it was with joy and excitement that I greeted my friends, and the following weeks were filled with many of the things I love about college life. In a few days I’ll be back at it– late night Walmart runs, study sessions, Lucky Charms in the Dining Hall… And I’ll miss Louisiana. But I’ve realized that there are many different kinds of home, and UTD is now one of mine. My love for life in college doesn’t mean that I don’t love my first home. It doesn’t mean that I value my friends or family at home any less. It means that I’ve grown as a person, even in these shorts months– and I can’t wait to see what the next semester holds at my home away from home.