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First-year Shock: Homesick

Aug. 24 had been sitting on my calendar for months. It was the day I would move five hours away from the life I had painstakingly crafted for the last 18 years.

I had done countless hours of research on how to be a college first-year and condensed my entire livelihood into shopping lists. If I wasn’t planning out the next 114 days of the fall semester, I was sitting in my mom’s bed crying my eyes out, and I was too dehydrated to make that a pattern. 

The transition to college is hard — this is well-known — and homesickness happens to everyone. Not a single person, including myself, could predict how terribly I would react. 

This would be my first time away from home for more than three days. I never went to sleepaway camp or on a summer vacation without my family by my side.

It was my third day in my dorm, and my parents had left less than 24 hours ago. I woke up, and it felt like I had fought a grizzly bear and lost. Everything hurt. I couldn’t move. 

Immediately, I burst into tears. I texted my parents begging them to come get me and take me home. Trying to get out of bed was the equivalent of running a marathon that I had not trained for. 

As the day droned on, I stayed in bed sending countless texts to my parents and calling them numerous times repeating the only words I could muster without crying: “Please take me home, I can’t do this.” It got to the point where my parents had to ignore my calls because I couldn’t stop. 

I knew what I was doing wasn’t healthy. I couldn’t sit up, eat or drink as I sat there sobbing non-stop. My roommate, God bless her, stayed out all day and avoided my depression cave as I attempted to adjust.

Sixteen hours later, I had left my bed a grand total of once, but still hadn’t stopped crying. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling, hating how I wasted the day. How am I supposed to grow up when the thought of self-care seems impossible?

Now, I’m on my eleventh day and haven’t cried since. I can leave my room without feeling like the world is ending and I have even made a few friends. My parents get a play-by-play each day. I call them when I wake up, walk to class, walk home and before I go to bed. If I can’t call them, I text them or call one of my siblings.

It’s a big adjustment that no one could have prepared me for, no matter how many lists I made or YouTube videos I watched. But I am here, and I got through the worst of it. Now the countdown to Christmas break begins: 102 days.

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Josette LaFramboise is a first-year from Chicago, Illinois, double majoring in media and communication as well as film with a dance minor.