Yeah, I said it.
It’s about that time of year again. Thanksgiving is coming up. Radio stations are already playing Christmas music. You realize that there are only three more weeks of classes. This all makes you think about one thing: home. I will be the one to come forward and say that as a college kid you will experience being homesick many times during your college career.
As a freshman, you get homesick because you crave what you know. Everything at college is new and different. You find few to no familiar faces and all of a sudden all the responsibility of success is on you. You miss your mom, your dad, your siblings, your pets, your house, your friends, your bed, your couch and the life you have lived for so long. As a freshman, you get homesick because you are trying to find your place on campus.
As a sophomore, you get homesick because you are left to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Freshman year seems like all fun and games. Sophomore year starts to get real. You have to choose a major. You find your niche on campus through joining different organizations. You find the friends you’ll have for life. As a sophomore, you get homesick because you want to run away from the truth that you are growing up and have to make life choices.
As a junior, you get homesick ’cause you almost feel like an adult. You’re finally an upperclassman and you feel like you have it going on. The whole college thing is going pretty well for you and you have made it this far. You find yourself going to career fairs, applying for internships and honing in on possible career tracks for your future. It is all too real. As a junior, you get homesick because you aren’t ready to be an adult and still want mom to cut your sandwich crusts off to prove you’re still just a kid.
As a senior, you get homesick because you have no idea where home is actually going to be. All of a sudden you are there. You’re splashing your big toe in the pool of adulthood and waiting for the month of May to push you in. You are applying for big-kid jobs and negotiating salaries. Freshmen stare in awe at you; you seem to know everything. Yet, you still have paralyzing moments of reality every other day when you realize the next year will be totally different. As a senior, you get homesick because you don’t know the next time you’re going to go home.
But through these moments in your college career, something amazing happens. As much as you miss everything about being home, Christopher Newport becomes your home. I remember my freshman year I was home for Thanksgiving break and my mom asked me when I was going back to school and I said, “Oh, I’m going home on Sunday night.” I had said it subconsciously, I had called CNU home. That’s what makes this place so special. I have not heard any other college kid I know call their school home; it’s always just school. But here, we’re more than just a school: we’re a community, a family, a home. This is a home that you will have for the rest of your life.