The Emotional Burden of Going Home

Independent, mature, and self-subsistent. These are the attributes that come to mind when I think of a boarding school student. However, in truth, we are all still in our adolescence; we rely on the love and care of the adults in our lives to, essentially, hold us together. We all want to go home every once and a while, wishing that our caretakers could pick us up and cook us something homemade. But when we consider the consequences of going back, is going home for long weekends really worth it after all? 

Returning home invokes a persistent fear of missing out as friends that remain on campus mingle; it breaks an established, on-campus routine; and it prompts new waves of homesickness. As a student who has the option of returning home to New York over the long weekends, I believe that the benefits of going back for short periods of time do not outweigh the mental strain it entails.

Every Thursday, The Weekender comes out with events that have the potential to create unforgettable memories with friends on campus. Even if they don’t turn out to be all that they are advertised to be, the thought of being absent as these memories are created lingers heavily on my mind while trying to enjoy time at home. Although I know that I don’t have to be present at all these events to have a social life, it still causes unnecessary stress that offsets the comfort that home offers. 

Leaving campus also changes my whole routine, forcing me to adapt to a new schedule to continue my work. When I drove back for parents’ weekend, I realized how unproductive my bedroom at home had become. I used to be able to knock out hours of work at my desk, but as I sat myself down to start doing history, I could not focus for more than five minutes. Any of us would struggle with adapting to the new (though not really) environment. After getting so used to life on campus, going home throws in so much unnecessary stress as it becomes more difficult to complete my weekend workload. There were so many things that felt different when I went home, like not having the resources I’d usually have, not being able to use my go-to study spaces, and encountering the distractions of home. These factors prevented me from doing work and consequently, made me more stressed. I could only focus on everything I’d have to catch up on back on campus, to the point where it almost ruined my weekend. 

Leaving home for the first time was hard. Even though I’m accustomed to the way of life on campus and enjoy it, when I went home I realized how difficult it would be to return to school again. The process of packing my suitcase, getting in my parents’ car, and driving away from home invoked an unanticipated wave of homesickness. Being in New York reminded me of the luxury of talking with my family face to face, and in turn, makes the whole process of leaving home so much more burdensome. The whole process of leaving is inevitable, and thus inevitably leaves me weighed down and homesick.

Being a mere four hour drive away from my house is nothing in comparison to the twelve hour flights some kids on campus have to take to even get a taste of home. Nonetheless, four hours is still a lot of time that could be spent on social life, homework, studying, or sports here on campus, and going home just to worry about school is pointless. Returning back is a luxury I’m grateful to have, but at the same time, for every reason I want to go home, I have so many more reasons to stay.