Homesickness has a cure, stay strong

Megan Keane, Columnist

Going away to college is a life event that some kids have the opportunity to do. Touring the campus during orientation, the hustle and bustle of moving in; it’s exciting (and exhausting) and then, you are saying goodbye to your family. You are saying goodbye to your family and you’re alone.

Last year I transferred to Eastern as a junior psychology major. I am from a southern suburb of Chicago, just about three hours away, and I seriously was not nervous about living on-campus at all. Maybe, because I did not have a basis for what living on my own felt like. I think that is why it was such a shock when the homesickness settled in.

Do not get me wrong: I made friends during prowl weekend (two of which I’m living with this year), but I was in a slump. I missed my bed—a queen sized memory foam mattress—and my friends from home. Most of all, I missed the loudness of my own family.

Over last summer, I started a group chat with my to-be suite mates. I wanted to get to know them and make plans. It started off all right, but while we planned movie nights and little events like bowling at the Union, we did not follow through with any of them. Because of that, my suite grew quiet and very uncomfortable.

I remember my fun fact about me for our first ever floor meeting went like this: “My name’s Megan and, I don’t know, I’m just really missing my family right now.” Not to be dramatic, but I literally felt like I was three, being dropped off at preschool (which I dropped out of because I hated being away from my mom and sister).

I didn’t drop out of Eastern, though. Obviously.

To be fair to myself, I have very rarely had moments to myself since . . . Well, since I was born, I guess. And, while I had made other friends, everything was still fresh and so. I was by myself, with myself from the time my classes ended until I went to class the next day.

There were a lot of issues in my suite. It happens to most people, I think, but it grew to be completely miserable and I often called my dad to drive three hours to pick me up and drive me back home for weekends when the bus was not available.

There is a turnaround to this and if you or anyone you know is feeling homesick this weekend, I implore you to go out. Those nice people you met on your floor, see if they want to grab lunch.

Those kids in class that you are forced into a group project with, get to know them. They might be cool.

If my year had continued to be miserable—if the friends I made had not eventually moved into my suite—I probably would have transferred to a different school. For me, adjusting to Eastern and—this year—not being homesick at all had to do with the connections I made on campus.

Give it a try!

Megan Keane is a senior psychology and English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].