It feels big and you feel empty and everyone is everywhere else.

For what may be the hundredth time I’ve mentioned it over the past month, I have moved. You all are likely aware of this now unless you purposefully skip over my articles involving moving tales (in which case you probably aren’t reading this one, either), but I relocated once more across the country to Portland from New York. My mother and father and family are still all on the East Coast, however, and I miss them very, very much. In fact, my homesickness has been getting the best of me lately and leading to an unintentional avoidance of some social situations, though I swear I am making friends so I promise my “I MISS STUFF” tone will subside soon enough.

Having gone to college 2,500 miles away from home, I remember the feeling of leaving for the first time. Oddly enough, I only really cried about missing my dog and Wegmans (please tell me somebody knows what I’m talking about here, so um, not hi again). But as time went on, I realized just how much I missed my mother, my high school friends and even my own lumpy, teensy, coil-mattress twin bed. And now, I’m re-experiencing that longing and remembering why moving is hard for reasons other than the practical ones like money and time; it’s stressful because you wind up missing everybody eventually, often all at once.

As per usual, I’ve accumulated a few tips on how to deal with homesickness for those of you who may be about to attend college, presenting freaking out about moving or studying abroad, or any 14-year-old who is reading this for some reason and is about to attend camp. If you are 14, ignore the racy stuff, please. If you are 14, also know that I am a little jealous of you because when I was 14, I didn’t go to camp and only went on stupid, uninformative websites where everybody was called “girlfriend”. So, whether you’re missing your mom, dog, dad, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend and anybody else or all of the above, here are a few ways to deal via somebody who still cries just thinking about the long-distance phone commercials.

Photo: Darin Barry / Flickr[ITPGallery]