Okay. Fine. So I wouldn’t shut up about “I’M GOING HOME!” for the months between choosing to attend Fordham University and actually moving in. But especially going to a school where a vast majority of students are from the tri-state area, I’m still new here. If someone asks me where I’m from, it’s still “NorCal” or “Sacramento, California”. I don’t get lost on the subway anymore, but I learned my lessons the hard way. I swear I thought I was going to die when I first started jaywalking (the only people who don’t jaywalk in the city are tourists – please stop Instagramming your cronut). I am the epitome of “a small town girl in the big city“.
A few days in, I thought the weirdest part of college was that it didn’t feel weird at all. With the build up of anticipation for so long – college apps, choosing a college, GPA, SAT, and ACT stress – everyone was just taken aback at how much things seemed to really fit them.
Then the feelings started changing – minutely, but quickly – as fast as the weather did.
When people usually think of college homesickness, it’s binge eating comfort food and calling their parents – trust me, this does happen, but it’s not always as so. Sometimes it’s just the feeling you get when you see your high school best friend’s doppleganger around campus, or hearing words in conversation that remind you of home (can I get a “hella?”). It’s shrill fangirling every time you pass someone walking their dog because you’d do anything to pet your puppy again. It’s having a professor with the same sense of humor as your hometown neighbor, taking a course that you know that kid from your high school club would just adore, even seeing someone wearing a shirt from colleges your friends go to.
Maybe homesickness isn’t missing things. Maybe it’s part remembering, and part having a deeper appreciation of things from home – the baristas knowing your “usual”, your friends’ lame jokes, even actually being able to see stars out at night. At a school where many students live a one to two hour trip away, things like long weekends and family weekend can remind you of where you’re from. As a person who thrives on independence (or at least likes to think so), remembering I’m away, that I had the choice to go so far away, makes me proud of where I am and where I’m headed.
Being in a Big City…The City
From Thought Catalog:
9. You’re known among your small town friends as the really cool chick that took a chance and went to the big city to pursue her dreams. Sometimes you fantasize about what your life would be like if you hadn’t left, and doing so makes you so, so grateful that you did.
One of my favorite moments in the last month and a half was when this campus, this city, started to feel like home. Not the “I fit with the idea New York” or “I’ve come full circle, back on the east coast where I was born”, but when things became familiar. It was being able to study while travelling to and from Manhattan, because I wasn’t a tourist anymore and I didn’t have that touristy need to see everything outside the train window and go do everything I hadn’t done yet in one trip. It was feeling entirely okay with going to bed at 9:30PM on a Friday night because the week killed you, and not caring that friends back home were asking why you weren’t taking advantage of the big city.
That feeling of home, or at least familiarity, reminds you of constant opportunity, that everything is for what you make of it.