Tales of a Transplant: Homesickness

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

Guam

Home sweet home / PHOTO BY RYAN GALINDO

Home.

What comes to mind when you hear that word? I see my family and friends, my room, beaches and palm trees. I could go on forever, but that’ll only make my bout of homesickness worse.

When I arrived in Boston, I thought this city was nothing short of amazing (and I still do). I guess when you’re just so enamored by new sights and experiences, you get momentarily distracted by what you’re leaving behind. When my mom left Boston for Guam after helping me get settled, I felt no pain or anxiety. I know. It sounds bad, but I see it as a sign of reassurance, a sign that I’m going to do quite well with my time and independence here in Boston.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I began to feel homesick. I soon grew tired of the dining hall food and the repetitiveness of my work schedule, and I was overwhelmed with school in general. Oh, and I was COLD.

I wanted to go home, and I somewhat still feel the same way right now. As much as I love this city, it will never replace my home back in Guam. I’m not an expert, but I believe the root of homesickness is the fact we’re missing certain aspects of home that we can’t replace in college. You’re not going to find family or your Mom’s mouthwatering fried chicken in this city, unless you grew up here, of course. The best advice I can give to palliate homesickness is to find distractions and near-replacements for home.

Remind yourself why you’re here

What brought you to Boston University? Ask yourself that question and when you find the answer, pursue it! Sometimes in the midst of all the work we’re given and the many distractions that seep their way into our lives, we tend to forget our primary reasons for being here. So, remind yourself why you came here in the first place. Take yourself back to that moment you got your acceptance letter in the mail and thought about all the cool things you were going to do here. Now do it.

College care package

My care package sent from home / PHOTO BY RYAN GALINDO

Join a club

Affiliating yourself with a club can give you a clearer sense of identity and will provide you with plenty distractions. Boston

University, being the diverse institution that it is, has a ton of multicultural clubs that you can join and that’ll make you feel at home. I’m Filipino, so if it wasn’t for the Filipino Students Association, I would probably not have met a lot of my friends at BU or gotten my quick fix of Filipino cuisine.

Of course, clubs aren’t limited to your ethnicity. There are several other clubs open for you, such as sports, community service and academic societies.

Ask for a care package

Considering that we’re nearing the end of October, I’m assuming your family or friends back home should have already sent you a care package. If they haven’t done so yet, ask them to send you one (or more)! Make a list of all your favorite foods and comfort objects that you can’t get in the city. Ask your grandma to send you a batch of her famous cookies. Tell your parents to send you that stuffed toy that wouldn’t fit in your luggage or your favorite books that you want to reread. Try to recreate home as much as you possibly can.

Downtown Boston

Downtown Boston / PHOTO BY RYAN GALINDO

Get out of your dorm

The city is your playground. You literally can’t count the amount of things to do in the city. Get out and do something. Pick up a new sport. Go on a tour. Go shopping. Go to the aquarium. Do homework at a park. Try not to stay in cooped up in your room all day. That place is meant for sleeping.

Call home regularly

You should be doing this already. There isn’t a valid reason why you shouldn’t be calling home. If you miss your family, chances are that they miss you, too. Do your parents a favor a call them just to check in with them. Let them know how your week’s been going and ask them how theirs has been as well. Just because you’re in college does not mean you have to sever contact with your family. It’s completely okay to call home.

I would also tell you to visit home if it’s feasible for you. If you’re extremely homesick, then I suggest you do it. But try not to go every weekend. That goes against one of the best parts of being a college student, which is to find your independence.

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