Sometimes homesickness creeps its way into my almost perfect life here in Freiburg. Posts on Facebook about Homecoming, the autumn colors on University of Richmond’s beautiful campus, and going back home for fall break have made it clear to me that there are things about home that I completely miss. For instance, being over here for fall makes me realize that it is my absolute favorite season in the US.
On a more serious note, my grandmother had heart surgery when I left and a few of my friends back home are having a really tough time. It makes me sad that I am not there to be supportive in all the ways that I normally would be. So how do I handle the nostalgia? How do I keep up with the people and news from back home?
Keeping up with the Fam
You bet we Skype. We actually seem to be talking MORE now that I am abroad than when I am away from home at school in the states. I even get to see my cats, Cookies and Cream over Skype. Weird right? Not exactly. At UR my workload is extremely heavy. I am also a member and leader of multiple extracurricular activities. Occasionally I barely have time to eat. It’s ridiculous. Here in Freiburg I have one class at a time and only spend about 3 hours a day in class and maybe 1 hour tops doing homework. That leaves a ton of time open to socialize with everyone and have adventures in Freiburg plus getting in touch with everyone back home for an hour every few days or so.
My mother even took her computer up to Pennsylvania last weekend and I got to Skype with my grandparents. My grandma is so tired after heart surgery that she had to lay down in the middle of the conversation. I am rooting for my grandma. She is so silly and goofy when she has the energy. I really hope she can pull through the recovery process and feel well again.
Facebooking Buds from Back Home
Oddly, I have not used Skype with my friends at all. That needs to change, and a group of my friends from Towson, MD want to do a group Ben-and-Jerrys-Netflix call soon.
Expectedly, we connect on Facebook. I love that private group messaging is an option. My best friends from University of Richmond are in one chat group named after a fake sorority we “made” as a joke, RhoRhoRho. My best friends from Towson are all in a chat group labeled Four Fierce Females, named after our recent team name at Applebees trivia this past summer. This is especially awesome because all of us in Four Fierce Females go to different schools and so even when I am not abroad this makes it easy to catch everyone in the group up all at one time. All of these girls have supported me via Internet while I have been here. I feel a lot less close to the people over in Germany because you cannot really make that deep a connection in 7 weeks.
Thank goodness I live during this time period because I would have to be no contact except for expensive phone calls and mail without the Internet.
A lot of people study abroad at the same time. You have to take advantage of that if you ever go abroad. Exploring a city with a close friend and having free lodging is pretty optimal when you’re a college kid on a budget. Thankfully two really awesome people are really close geographically to me – my cousin, Grace, in London and my best friend, Masnoon, in Paris.
I will be visiting Grace for my all time favorite holiday, Halloween. Here in Germany most people do not celebrate Halloween with the same gusto as we do in the states. Only some little kids in some places dress up and there is very little observation of the traditional trick-or-treating.I know a few clubs and bars holding a special night for Halloween as well. I want to get dressed up, eat candy, and have fun on my Halloween, so it is perfect that I will be going to London where the spirits will come out to play and I won’t look like a total idiot wearing my Peter Pan costume.
Now you have already seen my recent trip to Paris, Orléans, Blois, and Chenonceau with Masnoon. But what you didn’t know is he’s coming to visit me here in Freiburg next week. I cannot wait to show him this city and the surrounding natural beauty. Paris does not suit either of us so much because it is so full of tourists and concrete. Freiburg together will be such an awesome adventure. I fully expect that he and I will check of some of my bucket list items!
Feelings for Freiburg
Right this second I realized that once my study abroad experience ends I will feel this way about Freiburg too. Now that I have two “home” countries, I will always be a little homesick. What a thought. It doesn’t bother me though. All it means is that two countries have raised me and shaped me into who I am today. That is truly beautiful.