When I was in college, I always visited my aunts and my grandparents every time I leave for school in Cebu. Yes, those heart-wrenching goodbyes.
Today, my nephew visited me in the office. He will be leaving tomorrow for Manila because his classes will begin on May 31. He will be a freshman at DLSU when the term starts.
My cousin told me to talk to him, probably to comfort him or reassure him that he can make it on his own. We are concerned because when he was in Manila last year for review classes, he was very homesick and had bouts of crying episodes.
It’s cliche but time does fly so fast. This kid I carried in my arms. I bathe him, played with him, sent him to kindergarten school. I was a Sophomore in college when he was born. Every time I left for Cebu then, I bid him goodbye, misty eyed. Now, he’s saying goodbye to start an exciting part of his life.
This morning, my cousin was already missing him and was already teary eyed when she came in with him. My nephew avoided my eyes, maybe because he saw his mom’s face. All I could tell him was “Enjoy!” because I wanted to lighten the mood. Later, I was able to tell him to study hard and think of what his parents have provided for him to make him comfortable and give him the best. I told him the fully furnished one bedroom condo and the houseboy and the tuition fee were not cheap. I told him he was the model of his three younger siblings so he must inspire them to follow his lead when their time comes. Told him not to watch too much tv (he has cable all ready when he arrives there).
Of course, my obedient nephew said “yes” to all. Now, I think I was so serious; I should have been cool.
So, Francis, steady your steps, be confident and have courage as you approach the new life that will unfold before you in Manila. I guarantee you that although homesickness sucks, college life will still be fun. Going to school away from your family and your comfort zone will still be worth the buckets of tears you will cry. Don’t forget to:
- Study hard. Always remember that you are there to learn and fulfill your dream, so above all else, study, study, study.
- Pray. You have always been a prayerful child. Continue to pray and go to mass regularly, even if you now have to go alone.
- Cry. Don’t try to hold it all in. It’s natural to miss everybody back home. We all go through that darned withdrawal phase. Don’t worry, in time, it will pass and you’ll be surprised, you won’t be that thrilled to come home.
- Spend wisely. Your parents work hard for your allowance , so don’t waste your money on unnecessary things. Budget your money and try to live within your budget.
- Use your time prudently. Time is precious. Treasure your time and use it properly.
- Choose your friends well. As you said, “the barkada that studies together, graduates together”. Your friends will either help you fulfill your dreams or ruin it. So choose carefully.
- Call home often. Be considerate and keep your parents posted. You know how they worry. Talk to your siblings from time to time. Call home during special occasions. I used to call Lola Charing and Lolo Pilo during their birthdays and anniversaries. I sent them cards too.
- Keep in touch with your old friends. Yep, just because you’re far, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Remember the song, “meet new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold”. You will be longing for your gold friends in the new surroundings but bear in mind that they are just a text or a facebook away, hehehe.
- Love can wait. This is so killjoy of me and I hate myself for saying this, but this is what your mom begs of you. Well, it’s really true. You will not likely end up with somebody you date in college, hehehe. Make do with a crush [so high school!].
- Don’t start a vice. Don’t ever think about it; it’s not worth it. Stir away from anything that will not do you any good.
- Stay healthy. Eat well. Catch enough sleep. Exercise.
- Take time to relax. Have a life! Have fun! College only comes once. Live the moment. Join parties. Attend events. Watch concerts. Laugh hard.
We will be missing you dear. Don’t worry, Tita Nimu and Tita Hya, both who love you very much, are there for you. Don’t fret. Hold your head up and smile. Enjoy the ride!