College students can be a pretty fickle bunch sometimes. One day we’ll be absolute stereotypes of the classic university student—drinking coffee, wearing sweaters, debating the merits of Plato’s Republic, and having the time of our lives. That same night, we’ll be drinking less-than-legal beverages, wearing heels, debating the merits of the new Strokes single, and having the time of our lives. The next day, we’ll be drinking milk (good for your bones, you know), wearing sweatpants, internally debating the merits of higher education, and being absolutely miserable because we miss home.
Those who can handle the separation from home sometimes try to help the less well-adjusted when they crumple into a corner, crying because they miss their labrador. *Ahem* That definitely didn't happen to me.
The best way to comfort our despairing companions, we’ve found, is to recreate homely comforts. Food, obviously is one of the best ways to do this. There is absolutely NOTHING like a home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, however, home-cooked meals are incredibly expensive when you’re only buying enough ingredients to make that meal. So we settle for baked goods. I baked a wonderful batch of cupcakes the other day with a friend. I measured a cup and a third of flour, and she did everything else. She even had her grandma’s recipe memorized! We also made an absolutely delicious batch of brownies—shout out to Never Been Kissed in Alberta—with another memorized recipe of her grandma’s.
I think I made good choices in friends.
There’s a group on campus called Random Acts of Kindness that donated a splendid strawberry-flavored cake to a floor that I don’t happen to live on. But… it was just sitting out there in the lounge… half-eaten, looking incredibly lonely. It had been there for a long enough that everyone on the floor who wanted a piece could have had one. So I’m not going to give myself the guilt trip for that.
Not everything is easily dealt with by sugary confections. I my friends really miss my their dogs. A group on campus recently realized that February isn’t really a fun month—bad weather, bad holidays, etc.—so they set up a wellness fair. Attractions included a compliment booth (they were free! I usually have to pay people), a card-making booth (quite stress-relieving—and there were cool dinosaur stencils), free miniature yo-yos and stress balls that I promptly lost, and, most importantly—therapy dogs. They were slobbery, they had bad breath, and their fur was oily, but they were friendly, and that was all I needed. It's just so darn cute when they rest their heads on your knee. I was tired of chasing down innocent townies walking their pets. And those townies, like the dogs, are not necessarily friendly. One (dog or townie? You’ll never know) almost bit me the other day.
Ginger’s Song of the Week: There is no reason to debate the merits of the new Strokes single. It’s absolutely fantastic. The first time I heard it, I thought it was great. By the end of the third listen, I had fallen unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it.
Are you a homesick college student? How do you cope?
Related post: Life According to Ginger: Two V-Day Parties