Being homesick sucks. It’s hard to sugarcoat. My first year at OSU, I spent a lot of time being sad. I made friends and had fun, too. But I missed my family, my friends, my dog, and my hometown. Since then, I’ve learned how common it is; whether you’re from out-of-state, out-of- town, or just a few miles down the road, starting college can be tough. Keep trying new things and meeting new people. Talk to your friends. Find ways to distract yourself. But sometimes, distractions can only go so far. That’s when it’s time to ask a friend to grab dinner and eat your way through the homesickness. It may not compare to your mom’s cooking or your hometown grub, but eating and just being with someone can have the same effect as ice cream after a breakup. You may still feel gloomy, but your stomach and your heart will feel a little fuller.
East Coasters can be very strong in their food convictions, but Columbus can still hold its own. For a taste of New York-style pizza, head to Adriatico’s on South Campus. Bruegger’s is right next door, so you can get New York-style bagels to take with you. Bruegger’s and my lack of self-control are responsible for the 10 pounds I gained and the $200 in BuckID cash I lost freshman year.
Tequila may not be the healthiest option if you’re feeling down, but Cazuela’s chimichangas or churros are sure to cheer you up. If you’re willing to take the COTA bus up and down High Street to Clintonville and the Short North, Condado and Local Cantina have excellent tacos and happy hour deals. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy tacos and that is pretty close.
Columbus may be two hours from the Kentucky border, but you still can find some finger-lickin’ good deals near campus. Popeye’s or Raising Canes are your best bet within walking distance of your dorm. If you want to venture off-campus for more of a sit-down meal, check out The Eagle in the Short North and Hot Chicken Takeover in Clintonville or the North Market.
When I think “midwest” I think picnic food. Puppy chow, pasta salad, and chili dogs. Even if you can’t make it home for a family picnic, you’re still in the midwest. For a Skyline Cheese Coney or chili cheese fries, you can drive over to Olentangy River Road. However, you can also find midwestern favorites closer to campus. Fourth Street Bar and Grill has bosco sticks, mac ‘n’ cheese bites, and BBQ pork sliders as appetizers. (But PJ’s is my personal favorite for mac ‘n’ cheese bites close to campus.) And when you need a late-night snack or miss Grandma’s baking, head to Buckeye Donuts at any hour and split a half a dozen with a friend. (Or yourself!)