Homesick Heartaches

By Abby Bien

Hi, my name is Abby Bien. I am an 18-year-old college student, living an hour away from home, and I have a confession.
I miss my parents. And you know what? I promise you I’m not alone.
Don’t get me wrong: Butler is great, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But there’s something about snuggling up on the couch and watching “Downtown Abbey” with my family that I wish I hadn’t taken for granted.
It’s those little moments and privileges—like taking a 40-minute shower with The Jonas Brothers blaring—that I truly miss.
This feeling isn’t causing me to sit in my room and sob. I don’t even talk to my parents everyday. I just have a few minutes every couple of days where I realize that the life I have been living for 18 years is no longer. And that’s weird.
Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health, commented on the truth behind homesickness in a 2010 CNN article by Derrick Ho.
“You’re not literally just missing your house,” he said, “you’re missing what’s normal, what is routine.”
The feeling may seem foreign, but it’s not a rare one on campus. Many people can become homesick or feel unsure about their college transition.
“You feel a lot of emotions about missing home and loving Butler at the same time,” Miller said.
Dr. Keith Magnus, the director of the counseling and consultation services at the Heath and Recreation Center, offered some advice for adjusting students.
“Try to stay on campus for six weeks,” Magnus said. “That will give you a better chance to get connected to Butler and the people around you.”
My first visit home is scheduled  for five weeks after move-in. Through considered too short by Magnus, I feel that this will be the perfect stretch for me.
Everybody’s situation is different.
For some, waiting until Thanksgiving to give their parents a hug is just fine.  For others, the first week of classes is hard. Both situations are perfectly all right.
If longing for a hug from mom, freshman Katy Robinson recommends sending a text to parents once a day with updates.
Just make sure to live the life of a Butler college student.
“The best way to distract yourself from missing home is to immerse yourself in your new life at Butler,” sophomore Sarah Burns said.
Getting the most out of a college experience will prove difficult if a student spends each weekend traveling home to watch Netflix with his or her dog.
Some students can easily head home when needed. Other students are a plane ride away, and can visit home just twice a year.
Senior Abby Miller admitted she felt homesick during her freshman year.
Miller is from Colorado, and is only able to travel home on breaks. When feeling that ache for home, finding trustworthy friends to talk to is essential, she said.
Homesickness will probably hit at some point.
“Stay busy, and you will miss home less,” said Miller.
Talk to friends and call parents, but don’t forget that we’re in college now, and this is home.