A different kind of homesick

The Chicago Botanical Gardens smelled horrifically bad one September morning in 2015, which is not the kind thing you’d expect from a place normally associated with the pleasant aroma of delicate flora. The putrid fragrance does, however, come from a flower: rare corpse flowers that bloomed unexpectedly in captivity and are named for their hallmark stench. 

I experienced an unexpected putrid bloom of my own when, to my surprise, I became homesick in college. Perhaps not the kind of homesick you would expect, when a young college student misses the assuring regularity and home-cooked meals of their childhood upbringing. I did and still experience that to an extent. But the kind of homesickness I’m referring to is what some people begin to feel when they’re away from their apartments and dorms over summers and holidays. 

Humans are nesting creatures, which means when we move our stuff and set up in a new place, that place has a high tendency to start feeling like our new home. This is advantageous in many circumstances, like allowing you to feel comfortable in the new place that you live, but the drawback is you can lose that sense of belonging in the places you used to call home. 

I first found out about this different kind of homesickness when I came home for Christmas after my first semester at college. The first few days of break were smooth sailing, but soon after, I began to miss the independence and new routines to which I had become accustomed at the dorms.

Although it was nice to be back with family and my dogs, little things began to bother me. The coffee wasn’t as good when I was home, my hometown has no activities or fun things to do, and sometimes, you just want to sleep till noon on a Sunday. 

In order to cope, I began researching ways to deal with homesickness, and it turns out that all the remedies for Homesick Classic also work for Homesick: College Holiday Edition.

Trey, a student at Kennesaw State University, thinks that the best method to avoid it is to find things that take up your time.

“You don’t want to just be sitting around having to think about it all the time,” he said.

If your hometown, like mine, doesn’t have anything fun to do, force your family to make their own fun activities, such as playing board games or going to the movies together. Try anything that will keep your mind off of the lures of city life and instead focusing on being a good child, sibling or hometown friend.