Homesick at NYU

Homesickness is hard to quantify. They say 21 days is all the time the body needs to adjust to a new routine. Maybe this applies for vegetarianism or a new sleep cycle — but adjusting to living in a new place, especially New York, is a whole different ball game.

My first experience with homesickness was at sleepaway camp as a 13-year-old. I remember hearing about other kids who were desperate to go home — they hated being there, they hated being away from their parents and they were beyond ready to leave after less than a week. I grew up with the idea that homesickness just means that I missed home, but I was, more importantly, miserable where I was. During the four months that I spent in Florence studying abroad, I refused to believe that I was homesick because I was so in love with living in Italy. No matter how much I missed my family, friends or a cup of brewed coffee, I was happy. Homesickness, no matter where you are, doesn’t fit into a specific definition.

Whether you’re flying across oceans or countries or hopping on a train, you’re leaving something behind. Sometimes, you won’t realize just how much you’re going to miss quiet suburban streets until you don’t have them anymore. New York is a funny place. It can be the loudest, most overwhelming city in the world. But sometimes, a little reflection, a bowl of your favorite soup or a phone call home can make the world seem a little smaller and your life here a little bit less overwhelming.

*If you’re looking for some ways to combat that homesickness, click here for WSN staff recs.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a grandmother -aged adult whose daughter in her early twenties is temporarily living in New York now. Can I suggest contacting relatives and keeping up your ties to home even though you’re busy with school and New York life? Or picking an organization to volunteer with where you regularly tutor a kid, visit with someone elderly, or possibly help animals if there’s a New York charity that lets you do that. Where I live, you can even volunteer to walk a dog weekly with an animal protection organization! Reach out to someone else who would appreciate your kindness or helpfulness. It helps make a place feel more like home. College is going to be over faster than you can possibly believe, but it’s up to you to strengthen your connection with your loved ones where you came from, or with new people in your new community; it makes life happier. To the extent that you’re mostly in contact with people your own age in college, remember it’s a very artificial community, and it’s great for your perspective to diversify, and meet young or old. They will be delighted by your efforts.

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