What to Do When You Get Homesick
This article will cover What to Do When You Get Homesick
During new student orientation when I was a freshman, I remember talking about homesickness. The whole process of moving to a new place, feeling homesick, and then adjusting, looked like this.
YOU’LL PROBABLY ARRIVE WITH SOME FEAR AND ANXIETY
It's a new place, new people you never met, new activities. Basically, you are starting your life over in a new environment.
THE HONEYMOON PHASE
It is a honeymoon stage. Sure, it may take a while to get used to, but when you're busy trying to explore all the possibilities, there isn't much time to get nostalgic.
ROUGH GOING HOMESICK
As you get used to this new place, you start to notice the differences more. You start to miss your home: your food, your parents, your pets ... and that's when it starts to get really hard.
At least in my opinion, the lowest point of nostalgia occurs during the holidays. Breaks, Thanksgiving, all of those. Especially as an international student, you can't go home as often as domestic students.
FIND YOUR PLACE
You become a little more independent, you follow a different routine, and you find new things to be excited about.
Of course, I'm not going to lie. There's a completely different aspect of this that we don't talk about as often, and that's the strange reverse feeling of nostalgia you feel when you get home. Things have changed, the life of your old friends continued, so you feel like you have to go through all that emotional process again. But, that's the thing: You do it again and you already know that even if you are now full of fear and anxiety, you can (and will get better).
The question is, how?
There are countless articles online that will give you advice on how to deal with homesickness, but here are some of my favorite tips and suggestions on what has helped me, and hopefully they will also be helpful:
MAKE FOOD FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY
I may love food, but eating with friends really makes things that much better. It's a way to bond, an excuse to get closer, and they even reward you for it.
Food can be connected to memories - you can talk about what this reminds you of, while creating new memories. Soft-boiled eggs in a mug used to make me nostalgic for breakfast at my grandmother's. Now, they also remind me of midnight snacks with my roommate during the midterm elections. Ceviche used to remind me of the beach, but now it also reminds me of calling about three people to help me make the watered-down ceviche that I tried to make myself. So I guess food is a way of solving the problem, but more in the way it represents creating new memories to mix with the ones that make you miss home.
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CALL HOME—BUT NOT EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY
It bothered me a bit to see so many online sources put it this way: “Talk to your parents, but not too much. Call home, but not too often.. It is good to keep in touch with their family and friends. It is a problem when you talk to them so much that it prevents you from having real experiences in this new place.
Call the people you love frequently, keep them up to date on your life, and ask how they are doing. You're going to need that. Think of it this way: the longer you live outside of your room, the more you can tell them later about everything you are learning.
In that line of thinking, really try to explore the city you are studying in. For me, feeling homesick was sometimes a sign that I needed a break. Really, what I needed was to better organize my time so I could take a break and go for a walk.
Explore the city, even if it means finding quiet and nice cafes to go to do your homework with a dessert. Buy yourself a sandwich with a friend and ask him if he wants to go eat it on the beach while you watch the sunset. Exploring and making new plans around the city doesn't have to take you all day. It may mean hanging out in the park for twenty minutes on the way home. Give yourself time to enjoy the little things about the place where you are studying and living.
FIND AN OUTLET FOR YOUR EMOTIONS
I got a second year of Guitar College because that's what I like to do when I'm alone. Sometimes I keep a journal because it makes me feel better and productive if I need time to myself, but I don't want to feel alone. My friend bought a Polaroid and started making a collage on her wall. Another friend got a trainer at our university gym and got very fit, eventually encouraging me to join her on this fitness journey. It also give you enough knowledge What to Do When You Get Homesick.
An outlet for your emotion can take any form. Don't avoid them, but try to understand them. It is also a good way to distract yourself in a healthy way; if you focus too much on the negatives, you may forget to see the positives.
TALK TO SOMEONE
Sometimes though, it doesn't feel as temporary as it should, and then there's nothing wrong with finding someone to talk to about how you feel. They can be friends and family, mentors or teachers who you think can understand. Or it may mean talking to a counselor or seeking psychological help if that is what you think you need. Many colleges offer some free counseling sessions and psychological services, and may also refer you to other specialists.
Talking about mental health is becoming much more open. So if you're feeling homesick, it may also help to do a little research on who your university recommends you contact.
There is nothing wrong with feeling nostalgic. It is normal; it is part of the experience. And in the end, we all feel things differently, but everything you learn while abroad will help you grow and get to know yourself better.
So we think now you know enough about What to Do When You Get Homesick. Thank you for being in this article.