No One is Invincible

I was so excited to meet new people and friends and to participate in all the New Student Orientation activities when I got to college.  It was a whole new world, a fresh start and I was ready for anything… or so I thought.  I would call home if I had free time and kept in contact with my family via Facebook, Skype, and texting.  It might have just been one small message home a day like “it’s snowing!!”

Homesickness then hit me like a semi-truck.  BAM!  It was mid-October, a Friday, I get a message from my mom to call her after my Calculus 2 exam.  I call her up to find that my father has been medevac’d off the slope to Anchorage, and that she is on the road driving up from Homer.  At this moment I felt so far away, helpless.  

Looking back, this is my advice from my freshman self:
  1. Put trust in your new friends, and don’t bottle everything up.  People can’t hug you through the phone and most of the time someone can relate to what you are going through.  We are all human, and no one’s life runs as smoothly as it might appear from the outside.
  2. Make sure to keep in good contact with your family and friends, because you never know when you’ll need them or they’ll need you for support.  Designating a time to call home once a week is a really good idea.  
  3. Bring pictures to college with you or have pictures on your laptop that you can always go and look at.  My walls are always covered with pictures and whenever I look at them they make me smile and appreciate my family and friends.
  4. Have fun and be happy, but don’t be afraid of your own emotions.  Don’t hide everything with a smile; be honest, not just with the people around you but most importantly yourself.

My Dad had a heart attack and was lucky that one of his friends at work took him to the medic when he did.  My Mom and brother were both able to make it to Anchorage that day and they kept my sister and I updated through phone calls.  It was hard for me to be away from them, but I was so thankful for cell phones so that I could know what was going on.  I just wanted to be there at the hospital with them, but instead I had to be the voice on the other side of the phone. 

I bottled everything up, and then it was too much.  I cracked and snapped at one of my friends when they teased me about being on the phone for so long with my family.  I blurted out that my dad was in the hospital and they could tell I was upset.  Well that was certainly one way to get rid of my roommates study group right quick—but I would not recommend this method.  That is why I have the above advice for myself and new students coming to college. 

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