For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display screen shot 2016 09 24 at 2.08.00 pm
Sep 24 2016
by Jared Fembleaux

Upperclassmen Share the 6 Things They Missed from Home their Freshman Year

By Jared Fembleaux - Sep 24 2016
Congratulations! At this point, you have completed (at least) your first week of school and you have finally started adjusting to your new home. Everything is exciting and busy as your school holds a million events to welcome you to this new chapter of your life. There are plenty of things to do which now include completing homework on time, maintaining healthy relationships with your new and old friends and avoiding that pesky freshman 15

But as you get a daily school routine going and the events slowly stop happening, this honeymoon phase of college will start to wear off. Not to say that college isn't exciting anymore, but reality will start to kick in when you notice how much you miss certain items from home. Just know that you are not alone! 

There are hundreds and thousands of peers going through the exact same phase of homesickness that you're going through — everyone, including your own parents, has gone through some sort of period when they longed for home. Even the upperclassmen of your school will admit that they have missed plenty while being away at school. The only difference is that most of them have found solutions to get over their missing certain items.

1. Pets

Drew Coffman via Unsplash

Missing your pets can be one of the hardest things to get through. You spend most of your lives living in the same house with them, creating an extremely special bond, only to leave them at home. 

As Kayla Logan, a senior at the University of Oregon said: 

"It’s hard to get over missing your dogs, especially when they’re more like your siblings than pets... my suggestion is to definitely volunteer at a local shelter. The animals there are always in need of people to play with and to be walked and you get your dog fix!"

Stephen Carlstrom, Marymount Manhattan Class of 2018, misses his dog and taking it to the park; to get his "fix," Stephen explained:

 "I literally go to parks, mostly Central Park, and just walk around petting strangers' dogs. It's pretty cool cause people will just tell you interesting facts about their dogs."

If you want to volunteer at your local shelter, use this convenient website to find one near you! Shelters are always looking for helpers!

2. Homemade Food 

Ali Inay via Unsplash

You never know how much you will miss your mom or dad's home cooked meals until you're eating one of six possible dinner choices for four months straight. The next time you go home, be sure to cherish every bite.  

Emily Perry, Rhodes College class of 2019 and operations manager of Fresh U,  said that she missed homemade food because:

"I was super close with my grandma who cooked all the time. Every time I went home like for a weekend or something, I’d make cookies or a food that would keep for a little while and bring it back for me and my friends. It was a super great thing — and it made the homemade food a little treat at the end of a hard day." 

UC Riverside junior, Alex Rendon, explained that while he misses home cooked meals, he:

 "[s] home every couple of weeks because why should I let the distance stop me? When I'm at school, I keep in mind that I'll make a trip home soon so I have something to look forward to." 

Haley Fembleaux, Dietetics and Nutrition Senior at Montclair State University puts it simply: "In order to satisfy your cravings for home cooked meals, try cooking for yourself in your dorm/apartment; it may be intimidating, but the more you do it, the better you will become. Or, go out and treat yourself to dinner. Sometimes it's satisfying to spend a little money on a nice meal."

3. Friends 

Brooke Cagle via Unsplash

Having your best friends within a ten mile radius of you at all times will no longer be the case. Yes, you will be making new friends at college, but sometimes it is harder than you originally thought! 

As Dylan McMurrer, a junior at The College of New Jersey, told Fresh U:

 "I had a very close group of friends. . .I had a very hard time making [new] friends because I was looking for friends like the ones I had back home. . .I realized that my friends at college weren't going to be exactly the same as my friends at home, but that's the beauty of it, you can meet so many different and exciting people at college." 

His best advice would be to be openminded when looking for new friends, and to put yourself out there!

Anna Mattia, a junior at Loyola Marymount University, explained:

 "I miss my friends from other schools a lot, but I just make sure to have photos of them up in my room. No matter how busy I am, I at least text them every few days to catch up. I've realized how valuable friendships are and no matter how busy you are or how far away from people you are, it's always necessary to make an effort and show how much you care about them."

4. Parents/Siblings

London Scout via Unsplash

Your parents do so much for you that you might not realize until you head off to college. Once you realize that you need to do your own laundry, shower every day and eat all of the meals that you're supposed to, you will miss your parents like crazy! When you go home, make sure your parents know how much they mean to you! 

Joey Halpern, University of Oregon Class of 2017, deals with missing his parents and other family members every day:

"I talk to each member of my family multiple times daily. Although it's very hard only seeing them a few times per year, it allowed us to grow much closer. . .I work 32-48 hours weekly and also attend classes which helps keep me occupied, or I will go on a run or hike or go workout. It helps me relieve all of the stress and weight on my shoulders," he said.

Farah Randelia, Rutgers University Class of 2019, notes that:

"Missing your parents in college can be such a weird thing. Sometimes you wish that they would stop checking in on you and let you do your thing. Other days you wish they would whisk you home and treat you to a home-cooked meal. Though, at the end of the day, they're some of your biggest fans and supporters who will be cheering for you along your entire journey! Thank you for your endless love Mom and Dad."

Danielle Victoriano, Princeton University Class of 2019, thanks technology as well: 

"I'm able to communicate with them through continuous group messages (sometimes I would even have to silence my phone because they get very chatty) and never-ending Skype sessions. At times it honestly feels like I never even left." 

5. Bed/Room

Nomao Saeki via Unsplash

While your comfy bed waits at home for you, a new one awaits your arrival. When you see and feel the mattress at first, it will not be the comfiest thing you've ever sat on; but remember, it's not the most uncomfortable thing you've ever sat on!

Senior at Lehigh University, Eden Weinflash, reminded us that while there may not be a lot you can do about living in a smaller room than what you're used to with another person:

 "You'll get used to having a small, confined space after a while — I consider it cozy." 

Dylan Williams, George Washington University Class of 2018, told Fresh U that when first starting school:

"I really missed my bed. Not even my room — just my bed. I went from a queen to a twin and that was pretty rough. The only thing that truly helped was a nice mattress pad, so if you’re on the fence, go for the nicer one. You won’t regret it."

6. Environment (City or Nature)

Matt Le via Unsplash

Sometimes when you live in a woodsy-type area and move to school in a major city (and vice versa), it can be hard to get adjusted. You won't be able to stroll out of your house and go hiking, go to the beach or even go biking.

Loyola Marymount University sophomore, Colton Kugler, told Fresh U what it was like to move from Colorado to Los Angeles; going from thick, lush forests to the hustle and bustle of a major city, Colton definitely longed for some of the characteristics Colorado had to offer. 

"I miss the mountains, so I get my nature fix at the beach or make occasional trips to Malibu to get my hiking in!"

Again, Marymount Manhattan junior, Stephen Carlstrom, described the change he noticed when he moved from New Jersey to New York City: 

"Living in the city, seeing stars just isn't even an option. Thankfully, New York really doesn't sleep. If I need to see something bright and high up, it usually doesn't take more than a few seconds to find that. There's just as much magic in seeing a light on top of a building, I think because it helps you remember you're not alone. Even at 3am when the rest of the world is still sleeping... New York is still there waiting for you to accept its embrace."

Katie Terrone, a sophomore at the University of Tampa moved from New Jersey to Tampa, Florida for school, and while the change of scenery is different:

"Tampa is still filled with awesome next to the beach and theme parks, and has great schools. I got involved and have been doing a lot like going out and exploring Tampa. It's great to keep yourself busy and just experience all that your college has to offer."

So no matter what you are wanting to have from home, there is always a substation to fill that empty feeling. The biggest thing to remember is to keep an open mind and try new things! And should you ever forget, there are plenty of peers going through the exact same thing as you. Sometimes the best thing to do is just talk to one of them about the things you miss and why you miss them. But whatever you are missing, you should never forget that it will always be waiting for you for when you go back home.

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Jared Fembleaux - Loyola Marymount University

Jared Fembleaux is a freshman screenwriting major at Loyola Marymount University. Jared loves dogs, Netflix and creating artwork. Follow him on Instagram @fembleaux!

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