Image from Cloture Club.

Image from Cloture Club.

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.

Homesickness

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.

Image from Tumblr.

Image from Tumblr.

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. 



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the author

Jo is in her first year of studying biology at Fordham University, with interests in the social sciences, business management, and world domination. Recently returned to New York from 12 years in California, you'll most likely find her adventuring around the city. Residences include the science and humanities departments, running trails, and every coffee shop from here to Narnia. Nobody’s quite sure if she has a heart, but she’s got some sort of pump that moves around the black sludge that is espresso through her veins.

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  1. Caitlin on October 11, 2013

    WOW ! I love this blog post! I’m from California too (but southern!) and I decided to go to school in Illinois! Everyone always asks why I decided to leave sunny CA for IL but I love that I’ve decided to come out here. But you are SO right about just nostalgia and missing people and random little things. I miss my best friend when I hear her laugh in my new friends and I miss my daily drive down PCH and the non-humid weather (it’ll kill me I swear! aha).
    But I am SO proud of myself for coming out here knowing no one and making the right choice for me!

    Thanks for this article

    Much love,
    Caitlin

    • Caitlin on October 11, 2013

      sorry! I forgot to mention that the writing in this article is just beautiful! The two paragraphs about Homesickness really touched me! Dear Author- you have a bright career ahead of you! (:

  2. JB on October 12, 2013

    GREAT topic that connects with so many people! My campus was an hour from home, and it took me close to a year to begin to think of it as my new home…

    Keep up the great work!

  3. JB on October 12, 2013

    Doh! I should have said, “hella great topic.” :)

  4. Natalie Doan-Dunnum on October 12, 2013

    awwwh I love this! I can’t connect with this fully bc I’m still in high school haha but.. I was also born & raised in California (HUNTINGTON BEACH yay!) and then I moved to NC which is such a DRASTIC change! I never thought the east coast was so different. Anyway I agree with this line: “…or hearing words in conversation that remind you of home” bc I get so excited when someone says, “hella!” or even whenever I hear that California “valleyspeak.” Great article! :)

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