Whether your family and friends are 40 or 400 miles away, it is normal to miss them while you are studying here at Cedarville. Those weeks between hugs from your mom or annoying pestering from your siblings can feel long. The time between hanging out at the mall and watching movies with friends from high school can feel like forever.
At first, I felt like there was so much I was missing out on at home. Life was going on without me. It was hard at first to hear about my sister’s dance rehearsals over the phone or to hear about youth group trips after the fact. It’s easy to feel like you are missing out on their lives, but keeping in touch with them can help ease these feelings.
My family has a habit of FaceTiming every Sunday night. I can always expect to spend at least an hour on the phone each week, sometimes much longer. I found that scheduling a time once a week where we could talk and catch up, but when I could also see their faces, was important for me to keep the homesickness away. It also helps me to feel included in what is going on at home. I will admit, it is easy to get busy and not make time to call home, but the effort is worth it.
Calling home is not just for you to hear from your family when you miss them, but for them to hear from you. Odds are, they miss you too and desperately want to know what is going on in your life. Keep them included. Call them when you have exciting news about a good grade or when you are having a rough day.
Texting your family is great and is an easy way to stay connected during busy times, but there is nothing like hearing their voices when you miss them. On stressful days, hearing my sisters tell me about their new skateboard or youth event they went to always makes my day better. Texting just does not have the same effect.
Freshman year, my family came to see me during Homecoming and Parents Weekend here at Cedarville. I had only been at school for about 7-weeks, but that time felt so much longer because of how much I missed them. If your family is able, take every opportunity you have to bring them to campus or to go home for breaks. This short weekend with them was exactly what I needed to get me through until fall break, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas break. That same year, my sisters came up for Little Sibs’ Weekend before spring break.
It’s natural for us to want to call home, but to call our friends takes a little more effort. It is easy to just become Facebook and Instagram friends and let the rest of your relationship fade away. This does not have to be the case. Text them often to ask about what is going on in their life and in your friend group. Call them when you can. Write letters to each other. Make the conscious decision to keep your friendships strong. Make an effort to hang out with them during each of your breaks. If your friends are close enough to Cedarville, invite them to campus. Take them to chapel, go to an alt night, or just show them around. Introduce them to your roommate and new friends. There is a chance they will hit it off and your separate friend groups will become one.
Student’s schedules can be busy, so start by making the habit of calling or texting your friends and family early on in your time at Cedarville. You could even begin calling your friends now before coming to campus to better build that habit. It does take effort to keep those back home involved in your life, but it is not impossible and it is so worth it. I have felt very little homesickness because I feel involved in what is going on at home.
Put in the effort and keep those relationships strong no matter what distance separates you.
Majoring in Professional Writing and Information Design, Class of 2022
Where I’m from: Jonesborough, TN
Favorite Class: Bible and the Gospel with Dr. Owens
Go to Rinnova Order: Honey Latte
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