Life @ U of T

Introduction

4000 km From Home: Missing My Parents at University

4000 km From Home: Missing My Parents at University

Almost two years ago, I jumped on a plane and flew from Vancouver to Toronto. Though I’ve been back since, a lot has changed. Ever since then, my sense of home has blurred from Vancouver to Toronto, and not seeing my parents for months-on-end has become the norm. 

Now that it’s been a couple years, I don’t miss my parents much. But there definitely were moments when I did. Homesickness is real, and it took me a little bit of time to figure out what I needed to do to not miss my parents that much. Here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. Routines are key 

For me, figuring out routines was key to navigating my relationship with my parents. To my surprise, I actually found it more difficult to talk to my parents every couple of days. I was stressed out and cranky, and it felt like I still really needed their support. Soon I realized that talking to my parents about every ten days felt better. This allowed me to stay in touch, but also spend enough time alone to feel fully independent. 

 2)  Getting away feels great

One of the things that frustrated me most was not being able to visit my parents for a weekend if I needed to. All my other friends could take a train or bus to see their parents, but that simply wasn’t an option for me.

Things got easier when I realized that even though I couldn’t visit my parents, I could still get out of the city. Thankfully, I have some family in Ontario who I really enjoy visiting if I need time away from the city or school. Tagging along with my friends when they visit their parents is also a great option— though I don’t get one-on-one time with my parents, I still get to take some time away from school if I need it. 

A window looking out onto a snowy bank.

3) It’s okay to be alone   

For me, realizing why I felt homesick was key. Though I love spending time with my parents, I also just enjoyed the security of having someone else look after me. One of the moments I felt most homesick was when I spilled tea on my computer and broke it in first year university (ughh…). In that moment, I felt so helpless and alone, and really wanted my parents to just fix the situation. 

The longer I’ve spent away from them, the more I’ve realized that I can look after myself. I’ve faced countless problems, and solved them just as well as my parents could have. Now that I’m more confident being alone, missing my parents is much less of a factor. And hey, I always have my cat Dave to hold my hand if I really need it! 

A grey cat placing his paw on top of a hand.

For me, leaving my parents was super scary. But, it was also a great opportunity for me to grow, and I’m super happy I went through the process. Good luck everyone!

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