She said that going back home never feels the same after leaving for college and that a sense of home can be found in other places, like with friends.
Many of us have to move out of our homes and leave behind our entire lives as we begin college. This new phase is exciting, full of new experiences and opportunities. However, it is not entirely stress-free and one thing we all encounter is being homesick. Chloe Van Berkel, who goes by @chloevanberkel on TikTok, is a freshman at John Madison University and posted a "Get Ready With Me" video on TikTok, where she discussed her experience of moving away from home.
"So before college, this was something I never had even, like, thought about or considered. I honestly didn't even think about it until, like, the third or fourth time probably that I came back home from college," she said. "I don't know if this is something that only I kind of realize or other people realize too, but the worst part about college is, like, your home."
"Like going back home, where you're from, never really feels like your home again. If that makes sense," she added and it is definitely relatable.
Van Berkel said that her home is "where your family is" and "where your friends you grew up with" are but it never feels the same after you leave home for college for the first time. She said a home is the only place where you belonged and feel "secure in your life. And I feel like once you go to college, you find a new sense of, like, home in another place. Like, friends in another place." She added, "Like, now you don't have only one place you've ever known. Like, there's somewhere else that you feel secure being at."
Van Berkel realized this during her spring break when she did not feel completely comfortable at home. "It's hard because as much as I feel homesick when I'm at school when I come home, I feel, like, school sick. I miss everything like that," she said.
In 2016, research was conducted on this phenomenon and it took account of "homesickness, emotional experience, and adjustment" in 174 freshmen students. Tammy English, a professor in the Psychology department at Washington University in St. Louis said and as Van Berkel also mentioned, 94% of students felt homesick in their first semester, though initially, it was ever-present. It "tended to decline" and it was concluded that it "will likely fade over time."
Students who had higher levels of homesickness did not let it affect their academic performance, but slightly lower levels of academic satisfaction and GPAs were reported for students whose homesickness "dissipated more quickly." As for Van Berkel, she concluded her video with the words, "Enjoy your last few months at home and everything, because it's gonna feel kind of different I feel, like, when you come back. I don't know why, it just does."
TikTok users also related to her experience of feeling different at tome. "It feels like everything at home has changed," @mariasaavedraa_ wrote, while @whoiskimiah commented, "And the worst part [about] college is getting sick without your mom." @juliannaxroax said, "Honestly ever since I went to college, It makes me love my home even more. I love college but being in my hometown makes me so happy," While moving out of our homes can be tough initially, it adds to our life in many ways — a love for new people and places, and having our own back.