Since mid-March of the year 2020, most of us had to move back into our homes a little earlier than anticipated. Some of us may not have been with our families, but I can assure you that a day wouldn't go by where you didn’t talk to a family member to make sure everything was okay. In my schedule, I hadn’t expected to be home for almost 6 months this year. I had plans to study abroad during the summer and experience what a college student’s summer looked like. However, I had to face reality and knew that I would be home until further notice. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t an easy adjustment being at home again. Every time I visited home during the past fall semester, I saw home as my escape from school. That caused me to cognitively associate home and relaxing, which didn't make trying to finish my second-semester ideal. While sitting at my kitchen table listening to my live lectures, I could hear my younger siblings screaming off the top of their lungs telling me they had just died in a video game. With the constant distractions, along with my lack of motivation, it wasn’t making this situation any easier. Then in May, the second semester was finally over. Now sure how I did it, but I finally finished.
With the semester now being over, the days went by and I tried to create a sort of routine to keep me sane during the quarantine. I was able to master my coffee-making abilities, try out new cooking recipes I got from the Food Network, and I even learned how to sew. Through it all, I also adjusted to being home again. I got even closer to my family than ever before because I had experienced what it was like living far away from them. I was able to go outside with my 4-year-old brother and try to teach him how to ride a bike. I also spoke with my grandparents, hearing stories about their childhood I hadn’t heard before. It had once again felt like I had never left my house. Then we reached July and everyone was trying to figure out if we were going to move back to Tufts in the fall. Some of us were able to make it back and are now, working hard through this fall semester, trying to make it the best we can. However, I feel a little different this time. When moving back into my dorm in August, I felt excited to have my own space again. But, as I started to settle down, it began to be too quiet. The quietness made me feel weird because I haven’t heard it since March. Entering my second day back on campus I was sitting on my bed when the phone started to ring. It was a Facetime call from my mom, and right before I pressed on the green button to answer, I felt a small tug on my heart. I began missing the moments where all I had to do was walk out of my bedroom to see her. I would talk to my family on the phone constantly, and every time I would get a bit upset that I’m not with them anymore. I have heard of people getting homesick, but I have never truly felt what it’s like until this semester.
Homesick is the experience of missing someone's own home, and I didn’t feel this way moving in my freshman year. Now beginning my first semester as a sophomore, I think about my family constantly and feel an overwhelming desire to see them again and give them the biggest hug. My eyes become a little watery, and I constantly catch myself looking up at the photos I have of my family hanging on the wall. These are my symptoms of feeling homesick. There could be several other emotions and physical symptoms someone might feel when they're homesick. You might feel the need of taking several naps a day because it's your way of coping with your sadness. You might see yourself being a little anti-social, because not only have we been restricted from social contact for several months now, but the people who we had seen every day are no longer next to us. Now that I’m a few weeks in, the feeling is going away slowly, but not on their own. There are several treatments I found to help myself cope with homesickness. I try calling my family every day, even if it's for 5 minutes, just to make sure everyone is okay. Sometimes I send photos of my small adventures getting coffee, food, or my current studying set up to maintain the connection I’ve had with my family over the past few months. I hope that if you are feeling this in some way, you try finding your own methods that can make you happier and more motivated to move along this semester. If you can’t find a method to cope, there are several options available at Tufts to help you do so. I can assure you that by finding these ways to help you through this semester it will end in success, way more than you anticipated.