Fall break came and went and some students got to spend time with their family back home; however, some students stayed in their dorms. When I came back to the campus to briefly grab some stuff for my stay with my family, I noticed some students who were still at the campus, including a classmate and my roommate. It made me question how students staying on campus felt as they couldn’t visit their families this break, and how they were dealing with homesickness. I interviewed two students who live outside of Oklahoma about their experience of homesickness: JQ Molgaard and Julia Benn.
I asked the two where they were originally from. Molgaard responded, “Plano, Texas,” and Benn said, “Spokane, Washington.” I then asked them what made them go to SNU as it was far away from home. Molgaard responded, “The scholarship in soccer.” Benn added, “I came to SNU because all of my family has graduated from here, and I desired a small Christian community.”
Since Benn and Molgaard lived outside of Oklahoma, I wanted to know since moving to Oklahoma if they experience homesickness regularly. Molgaard responded, “Yes, a lot.” Benn added, “I have experienced some homesickness, especially when things can be tough in college.” I continued by asking them if they communicate with their family often through calls or texts. Molgaard responded, “Yes. I contact them every week.” Benn included, “I give my family phone calls occasionally I feel homesick.” Both agreed that checking in with their loved ones was essential in helping their homesickness.
Once students move away from their loved ones, it can be a challenge to overcome feeling homesick, especially if they’re far away. I asked Molgaard and Benn about ways they help themselves with homesickness. Molgaard responded, “Talking about it with friends is helpful since some are homesick as well.” Benn also said, “Being away for so long makes the moments when I am able to go home all the more special and meaningful.”
To help students who are homesick and unsure how to help themselves, I asked the two if they have any tips for students in similar situations as you. Molgaard responded, “Stay in contact with your family and send pictures of your life to them.” Benn added, “I would suggest keeping in touch with your family and finding friends on campus during smaller breaks that will spend time with you. I would also advise using this experience to grow individually as a person.”
Molgaard won’t see his family again until Thanksgiving break and Benn won’t see her family until Christmas break. Despite this long wait, both are confident that their coping strategies such as confiding in on-campus friends and making phone calls to their families will help get them through this season and make seeing their family again all the more sweet.
Photo by SNU Creative