Freshman year of college is crazy. So much change is happening all at once and it is very easy to get swept up into the parties, the work and the new place you are living in. You almost seem to forget all about your hometown and the friends and family you left behind. Now to an extent this is crucial to adapting to a new environment, but I am a firm believer in never forgetting where you come from, no matter how far you go. That’s why staying in touch with family means so much, they’re your past, present and future.
A New Atmosphere
For me, the first month and a half of my freshman year was crazy. Boston was warm and vibrant, I had a new group of friends and a whole city at my beck and call whenever I wanted it. I felt like a new person, free of the stupid small town in Northern California that kept me captive for years, ready to finally be where I am meant to be, with people I am meant to be with.
Then it got colder. The honeymoon phase of college wore off, and I felt incredibly lonely despite being surrounded by people everywhere I went (I lived with seven other girls for crying out loud). I began to miss the feeling of comfort home gave me, the familiarity of the roads, the abundance of nature and sunshine in my backyard and more importantly, my friends and family.
Life got real for me around early November of my freshman year. Boston had just begun its start towards another gnarly New England winter, a phenomena I had never experienced and the reality of moving across the country had finally set in. Some of the people that I thought were my friends were proving to not be and the seasonal depression set in.
Getting In Touch Again
I felt bad about being distant with the people that made me who I am and decided to reach out. I started to Face time my mom at least once a week and keep regular text conversations with my friends. I was honest about how I was feeling and they reciprocated. Although we were living completely different lives on opposite ends of the country, we were all having a tough transition to the college life. We needed each other more than ever. Staying in touch with family is an integral part of getting through tough times.
We often forget how hard it is for our parents to let us go. Especially because I am the youngest and I moved over 3,000 miles away. My parents always supported my dreams and let me spread my wings and fly, even if that meant being so far from their nest and I am forever thankful for that. I realized in these dark times how they needed me, too. I began to reach out to them more, sending pictures of my adventures, letting them know with these small gestures I appreciate and miss them. This made all the difference in our relationship. It made us stronger and more communicative.
I am not saying to not live this incredible new experience because of how lonely and sad your parents may be, or not make new friends because of your friendships back at home. You should most definitely take advantage of the magical time freshman year can be, because it is truly so exciting, but remember the people that helped get you there.
Remembering Where I Come From
I remember thinking that I was above my small hometown of Eureka, California and that I couldn’t care less about it. Yet I found myself talking about its quirks in and out of the classroom a lot throughout my first year. I even changed the desktop of my laptop to a picture of some scenery from home. Although now I have overcome a lot of that homesickness, I now have a profound respect for the place and the people that raised me that I never would have had if I didn’t adventure out.
Head out into the crazy, mixed up world. Make mistakes. Stay up late. Dance. Cry. Kiss. Sing. Work hard. But never forget where you come from, and never forget the people that loved you even when you had braces. Never forget that staying in touch with family is one of the most vital parts of life.