30 Hours

By: Samantha Smith

Living 30 hours from home is most definitely not the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m sure anyone who moves away from school will agree, going from seeing your family every day of the week to not seeing them is one of the most difficult things to do in life. My freshman year away from home was hard to say the least. I can recall other kids going home on the weekends when they missed their family while I was stuck in Portales doing homework and watching One Tree Hill on repeat. Luckily I had my older sister, Taylor, here to make things feel at least a little bit like home. Now, almost half way into my junior year, I believe I finally have the hang of things as an international student so far away from home.

I used to get jealous of the kids who could drive a few hours and sleep in their own room, at the house they grew up in, surrounded by the ones they love. The same ones who could go home on the shorter holidays and eat home cooked meals while bonding with cousins, nieces, nephews, you name it. Whenever I came to school, I was always afraid to call home too many times or bother my family because I wanted them to think I was capable of being independent. I now realize that was never an issue, as they believed in me then just as much as they believe in me now and they missed me just as much as I miss them. Some days I’ll call home so many times in the day I lose track of just how many calls I’ve made. My little cousins were babies when I left to school and now are all talking, walking, playing as they grow up. Missing out on family bonding sucks more than one could imagine, but with the help of their moms and FaceTime, I am able to talk to them, see their little faces, and feel included as they get older. I’ve made plenty of friends while I’ve been here, and actually had a few from home follow me all the way to New Mexico. One friend from Manitoba hosts Canadian Thanksgiving every year where a few of us all have dinner and bond like I usually would with my family.

Though being 30 hours from home sucks some days, leaving home was one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. Some days are better than others and some days are worse, but a picture from home, a call from my mom, or a video message from my dad never fails to make any day a better one.