“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
It’s Christmas break time! I love this time of year because so many amazing college girls who’ve gone off for untold adventure are home for a few weeks, regaling us all with tales of dorm life, crazy professors, and killer finals.
But, as this season blows in, something else stirs beneath the surface. Something sinister that threatens this beautiful time with feelings of anger, sorrow, discontent, and fear.
I call it – homesickness.
This homesickness isn’t what you typically think of as homesickness. It can manifest itself in a couple of ways.
The “I hate my college life and never want to go back” homesickness. These are the people that went off to school and were slapped up one side and down the other with a harsh dose of reality. All of a sudden they realize people aren’t generally nice or good (argument for total depravity? I think so!) Nobody cares about them like their parents do. Sharing living space the size of a sardine can with a stranger is worse than they could have ever imagined. They just want to come home…and stay home.
And then there’s the “I never left for college and, when my college friends come home, it makes me want to curl into a ball and pretend like I’m not missing out on anything by not changing anything in my life” homesickness. These are the ones who went to community college or simply got a job. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. But they are so comfortable in the lives they’ve lead up to this point, they refuse to change. They don’t want to move out of their childhood bedroom. They don’t want to risk going anywhere. They don’t want to do anything on their own because, frankly, that’s kind of scary.
Do you know one of these people? Are you one of these people? Is your home literally making you sick regarding the life you lead? Here are some suggestions.
-Pray. Isn’t that where it always starts? But don’t do a, “God my life is miserable – change it,” prayer. Or a, “God, this is what I want, so make it happen,” prayer. But try a, “God, you know what I need more than I do. God, you know the plans you have for my life more than I do. Help me to get on board with your will, whatever it may be.”
-Talk to someone who’s been there. This is the benefit of having older, godly people in your life. Bring up your concerns and ask for their advice. Take it to heart, knowing you can trust them.
-Soak in the Word. The Bible is full of people just like you. People who were thrown into a situation that they hated and needed to persevere (Daniel, Ruth, Jeremiah). People who were scared of change and risk, but knew they needed to do it (Moses, Joseph, Gideon). When is the last time you read about someone in the Bible and thought, “That’s just what I need to do!”
-Don’t be rash. Should you stay? Should you go? This isn’t a decision that can be made in an emotional instant. Pray. Talk. Soak. Repeat. Don’t expect an answer over night, but don’t give up until you get one that you, your parents, and your godly mentors all have peace about.
My last bit of wisdom: Grow up. If you want to leave school because it’s hard, know that life from this point is hard. At one point, you’re going to have to stick through something that you just don’t want to do. Maybe this is it.
If you want to stay home because you’re scared to make new friends, live on your own, and find a new church, get over it. Once we become complacent and comfortable in life, we stop growing. You don’t want to be one of those kidults who refuses to grow up, living with their parents, never really moving into adulthood.
All that to say, maybe God is calling you to leave school. Maybe leaving in the first place really and truly wasn’t the best thing for you. Maybe God is calling you stay home, to help out your parents, and to save money.
The question is, have you prayed about it? Have you laid your fears, worries, and wants at His feet? Have you asked yourself, “What would a grown-up do?”
Question: Where in your life are you miserable right now? Is it a time to persevere or a time to change? Where in your life are you comfortable right now? Is it a time to enjoy, or a time to shake things up?
- 9 Ways to Handle Homesickness (usnews.com)
- 3 Ways for Parents to Support a Homesick College Student (usnews.com)
- 5 Ways for College Students to Survive Being Homesick (usnews.com)