Keilani writes about the changing seasons, homesickness, and resilience.

A Long Way From Home

Seasons are changing; the semester is quickly going by. Thankfully, midterms are over now. However, coming from across the country, I can’t help the homesickness. I’m from Hawaii, where the climate and weather are consistent.

Coconuts at Produce Junction in Glenside.

Coconuts at Produce Junction in Glenside.

At first, I welcomed this new, exciting change. My homesickness didn’t really hit me until I took a walk with my roommate to Produce Junction, a shop five minutes from campus. It is full of healthy fruits and vegetables at somewhat cheap prices. When I entered, there was a particular stand that caught my eye. Although it was fall and the weather was getting colder, the store was still selling coconuts. Immediately, I thought about home… going to the beach, walking around the tourist shops, and, most importantly, spending time with my friends and family.

My residence hall.

My residence hall.

I’m enjoying my time in Glenside a lot: It’s a close-knit community full of friendly and supportive people. Even though I have been mostly focused on my school life here and on studying abroad in the spring, I couldn’t stop feeling nostalgic. Like the coconuts in the stand, I’m a long way from home—a symbol of diversity. It’s a feeling of disconnect from your original home while trying to make a new home in a foreign environment.

I don’t think it’s entirely depressing to be feeling homesick. In fact, it encouraged me to make more of an effort to keep in touch with my old friends while being open to meeting new people. Since that day at the produce shop, I’ve found that the perfect way to deal with homesickness is talking to friends who also are experiencing the same problem. It made me realize that I’m not entirely alone. I have friends and family who are only a phone call away.

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