Opinion | It’s normal to feel homesick this time of year

By Tara Pavithran, Columnist

There’s still roughly a month until Thanksgiving break, and it’s getting difficult to keep up with the college grind. Although campus is as beautiful as ever, I can’t help but wonder what home looks like at this time of year. 

Adjusting to college as a first-semester freshman hasn’t been easy, but I would say I’ve gotten into the swing of things. Sometimes, though, that swing gets … boring. 

It’s fun to be surrounded by friends, events and school spirit all the time. But it’s also fun to shower without shoes on.

This is probably fueled by the fact that the last time I went home, my mom bought a gallon of apple cider I have not been able to touch because, well, I’m here. I miss home, and while there are aspects of college fall fun that definitely can’t be replaced, home is irreplaceable, too. And it’s OK to recognize this. 

Among freshmen, the concept of going home is a defining personality trait. The people who were dropped off here and are expected to stay until Thanksgiving break scoff at those of us live close enough to take taking the Peoria Charter as frequently as every other weekend just to visit family. 

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A common argument is going home doesn’t allow for a smooth transition to college life. Missing your parents seems childish, but The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders actually recommends parents visit their children during the first semester of college. Going home to visit them might not be as counteractive as it’s made out to be.

Being home also serves as a nice reminder of who you were before college started. The town you come from is how you got to where you are now. It’s weirdly nostalgic seeing all the places you spent your high school years at. The whole experience is always a reality check; it’s cool to see how far you’ve come. 

Honestly, I go home to remind myself there was life before autonomous impulse decisions. A life with regular schedules and healthy choices. A life where I can go places without worrying about whether the bus comes to the stop right in front of Allen Hall or the one slightly farther down the street. 

I need a break from college more than I need to experience home.

I’ve never lived on my own before, and the whole, “With great power must also come great responsibility,” thing has never been so real. Laundry and dishes were a regular part of my home life, too, but for some reason, doing these things here leaves me feeling incredibly accomplished for no reason. 

I seem to have lost some of my drive. I’m used to a world where the showers are running at all hours of the day, and I’m internalizing this idea of putting things off until the last minute. I somewhat need my parents to breathe down my neck for a weekend to set me straight again. 

It’s also nice to be near a demographic other than those in the 18-22 age bracket and have to interact with adults much older and kids much younger than you. The lack of profanity and explicit content is beyond cleansing for the mind and soul. 

Health-wise, the CollegeVine blog also points out it’s great to have access to a grocery store with fresh produce. Living off of Pop-Tarts, mac and cheese and the occasional 57 North quesadilla will only fuel you for so long. College can become a bubble of caffeine-driven kids barely making it to class because of their own self-destructive tendencies. 

This is how you should pop it: Take a step back from the overbearing weight of midterms and course registration, pack your bags and remember a weekend getaway can be as simple as boarding a bus home.

Tara is a freshman in LAS.

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