Jackson Heights

My home is always crowded and filled with some polite and some rude strangers but many familiar faces. Music is always loud in my house; sometimes it’s Spanish, sometimes it’s something indistinguishable, sometimes it’s whatever’s playing too loudly from the headphones off the dude next to me. The TV is always blaring- somewhere. And if you listen just close enough in the summer, you’ll always hear a basketball bouncing, a horn blowing, and a couple having an argument. My house is known to party a little bit too hard and a lot bit too loud but in my opinion, its endless epicness.

If you were to ask me where my home is, I would say to you that it is New York City.

When I think of home, I think of the Rufus King Park where I spent my childhood trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels (I’ve yet to learn by the way.) and how the walk to school would be a killer in the winter snow. I think of the students bullying me in elementary school and teachers not doing anything about it and how I would end up sitting next to my teacher on every school trip because I didn’t have friends. I think of switching schools and being put in the top honors classes where I took classes years ahead my grade level. Jackson Heights; where I bought my first cell phone and the Queens Center Mall where my mum bought me my first skinny jeans (after great debate haha). But the best of it all- I think of Forest Hills high school.

unisphere-22971_960_720I think of the Carl Sagan Program I was put in for being academically advanced and my freshman year science fair where I won first place. The frustrating crowded (and almost always delayed- sometimes even cancelled) train and bus ride to school. The amazing reputation I was somehow able to build and the endless amount of friends and support I gained. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park where me and my friends would sneak off to after school; after of course, buying endless plateful of gyros, chips and sodas that we wouldn’t be able to finish. And duh, the Unisphere, where almost every Forest Hills High School student is guilty of owning a “My Homies Till the End” picture with their friends. For a short time in my life, everything was perfect. But everything changed when the fire nation attacked.

I’m just kidding.

When visiting various colleges, I fell in love with UAlbany and I didn’t need to think twice about saying yes. What I didn’t realize though, is that my parents were planning to move to Albany altogether to live a “simpler” lifestyle and to keep me at home through my university years. This means that since my family does not live in the city anymore, I don’t get to go back home unless it is for Christmas or New Years.

“The way I see it, my world is on fire because I constantly realize that I’m not on vacation and there is no going back home.”


According to various sites across Google, homesickness, is described as distress caused by being separated from home. I am homesick all of the time; when I go home after class, I am no longer going to a familiar place filled with memories of accomplishments and excitement but rather, I return home to a quiet and mellow place where my years’ worth of accomplishments means nothing- I feel like I’m on vacation all the time.

I love my family, but my sense of home was also rooted in my environment, in smells, sound, tastes and of course, my friends. It is as if I moved to the other side of the world. I would say that I am distressed, but, in my opinion, distressed is an understatement. The way I see it, my world is on fire because I constantly realize that I’m not on vacation and there is no going back home.

girl-690405_960_720Because I don’t live on campus, it’s so much more difficult to make friends and because everything is so far away, I have to be able to drive anywhere I want to go. I have spent my whole first semester struggling to adjust to a music-less, couples arguing-less, transportation not being late-less, and hardest of all, friend-less lifestyle; I struggled so bad I have managed to completely screw up almost every class I took so far which only made my life a lot more complicated that I can handle at the moment.

If I were to explain distress in this situation, I would say it’s like breathing in water; you feel heavy to the core which weighs you down while something on the inside is always burning, making you tense and unable to relax so simple tasks like sleeping and eating becomes so much harder to do (even if its junk food). Homesickness is a million times worse than it sounds.

Being me, I did a quick google search to find that endless college students from all over the globe are facing the same struggles as I am; Homesickness leading to poor grades and variations of thousands of scenarios, some better and worse than mine- almost all of which fail to tell their story of recovery.

My mission is to fix what I have broken my first semester and find an effective cure for homesickness and share the remedy to recovery; my mission is to write my own chapter.

Comments are Welcome!

About the author:

Simonti BSimonti B.
Class of 2019
Major: Intended - Biology
Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Writing My Own Chapter 

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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