The Comforts of Home

When I was getting ready to go away to college for the first time, I was excited. It was my first time leaving home (aside from all those five to seven day family vacations I used to go on when I was a kid), and I just couldn’t wait to find out what the college was like since I had never been to Kitchener in my life, or what living in residence was going to be like, or what it would be like completely on my own without family living right down the hall.

I was so excited that I stayed up late the night before loading the van up with all of my stuff by myself in the rain, which my mom thought was a stupid thing to do and that I should have just waited until morning. But, I told her there was something symbolic or peaceful about loading up the van by myself in the rain (I don’t know why though).

And, for the duration of the two day drive, my mom and I talked about a bunch of stuff, such as memories from when I was a kid to what college and living in residence was going to be like (as well as some other embarrassing topics that I will not repeat).

We get there, mom helps me move in, even helps me unpack, which I told her she was not allowed to do because this was supposed to be part of my college experience. Of course she didn’t listen, and she continued to unpack my stuff anyways.

After I was all unpacked, unlike most students’ parents who left the day they dropped their kids off, my mom ended up staying a few days in town at a friend’s so that she could explore a bit, and so that she could stay to celebrate my birthday a few days early since she wasn’t going to be there for my birthday. She ended up leaving the day after my first day of school.

Then I was all on my own.

Not too long after my mom left, I started missing home.

It wasn’t so much the town itself that I missed.  It was more that I missed my family and friends. I missed hanging out with them watching (and playing) sports, watching TV and going to the movies. I especially missed my mom’s home cooking. And, I felt a little disconnected from them because I wasn’t in their lives so much anymore.

In other words, I was homesick.

Homesickness usually hit me when my mom or dad or one of my siblings would call me, or on weekends when I didn’t have any classes, or during long weekends (such as Thanksgiving) because it was too expensive and too far for me to go home for just a weekend.

But, whenever I would miss home, I would always have something with me, receive something in the mail, or do something that I would associate with the comfort of home.

For example, when I went home for winter break during my first year, I brought back a fleece blanket that I used to cozy up with when I would watch a movie back home on the couch.

In my first year as well, my mom would send me a package of goodies from home about once a month like clockwork. These care packages would usually enclose things like my mail, a movie (once), a videogame (once), a ten dollar Tim’s card and most importantly some of my mom’s homemade baking – chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies, Valentine’s Day cookies, banana bread and nuts and bolts. Every time I got a package, the college residence staff at the front desk would know that it was baking from my mom and they would always say to me, “Did she send you anymore of those nuts and bolts?” My mom’s nuts and bolts are equivalent to those bits and bites you can buy at the grocery store, but they are so much better!

Watching movies my dad and I had first seen together was also a comfort to me.  And the Gilmore Girls was and still is a favourite of mine.

These familiarities of home, while they may seem stupid, childish and immature, are what helped while I was away at school.

So, give it a try. It might help you miss home just a little bit less.

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