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From the Editor’s Desk: Battling homesickness is hard

A few weeks ago, I almost did something I’ve never done throughout my past three years of college. I was incredibly close to packing a weekend bag and making the seven hour trek home to Illinois.

As an out-of-state student, I’m used to having fairly limited in-person contact with my family during the school year. I go home for breaks, but otherwise, the only occasions I see my family for are events like Parents Weekend. I didn’t always have a car on campus, so planning details like booking flights and finding a way to get to the airport in Columbus were both expensive and stressful. I remain planted in Athens for long weekends while many travel home, and I’ve experienced milestones like my younger sister’s last Homecoming dance through iPhone photos. 

Homesickness is something I’ve grappled with since my freshman year, and although my love for Athens is strong, it doesn’t always make being states away from my family easier. I’ve made friends with other out-of-state students who can relate to this experience, but the sting of homesickness is especially tough for both in and out-of-state Bobcats right now.

My near reconciliation with spending 14 hours of my weekend in the car was the culmination of the homesickness and burnout I experienced so far this semester. In the thick of the semester, stressors weigh heavier on students. Midterms have come and gone, and Thanksgiving break is about two weeks away. We’re all starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel — but it feels like we’re crawling there after putting so much energy into our academic hurdles. I’d love nothing more than to wake up tomorrow in my childhood bed.

Homesickness right now is completely natural. The weeks leading up to finals are some of the most stressful ones you’ll experience in college, but they come with the reward of a relaxing Thanksgiving and plenty of time spent with family during Winter Break. That light at the end of the tunnel may feel unreachable right now, but when it’s here, we’ll all bask in its glow.

So, no, I didn’t end up going home a few weekends ago. However, some of my family is coming to visit this weekend. While it’s not quite the same as making the journey home, I know seeing some of those I love most will be the mental health boost I need to finish the rest of the semester strong.

These weeks are hard. Homesickness and burnout can be incredibly difficult to grapple with now more than ever. As we race to the finish line this fall, don’t feel ashamed for reaching out to your fellow Bobcats or for giving mom an extra phone call. We all need to seek solace in those who matter most to us, and it will be in the comfort of our homes soon enough.

Abby Miller is a senior studying journalism and political science at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Abby at am166317@ohio.edu or tweet her @abblawrence.

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