Coping with homesickness while studying abroad
Aren't new beginnings just the best?
The excitement and nervousness you experience as you start a whole new chapter of your life can be beautiful and, sometimes, a little daunting as well.
But hey! Kudos to you for taking the big decision to move out and explore all that the world has to offer! It takes real courage to get away from your hometown, your people, and most importantly, your comfort zone.
After months of working hard towards moving abroad for your education, you have finally reached your dream study destination. You’re settling down in your new space, and for a brief moment, you feel this sinking feeling, an emotion you can't explain. This is the moment you realize how much you miss home.
Let’s face it. Homesickness is something we all experience at some point in our lives. But for a student, it can be a little more intense as it’s all-new. Feeling homesick could affect your overall study experience. Besides, it can also be emotionally taxing and frustrating.
Let's look at the brighter side and help you overcome this phase, so you can begin your journey confidently without having to go through it all by yourself.
Don’t you fret! Here are a few ways to cope with homesickness while you’re studying abroad.
Prepare yourself emotionally
The most important thing to keep in mind at this point is that you are not alone here. This is probably one of the biggest transitions of your life. So before you get started, it would be great for you to prepare yourself mentally.
It may not be easy at the start. But as days pass, you will realize that it gets easier. Remember, this feeling is not permanent, and everything gets better with time.
Keep yourself occupied
Find a new interest. Pick up on a new hobby or restart an old one. Just do anything that will help you clear your mind and calm your nerves.
There’s always something new to discover. Doing new things every day will also help you understand yourself better. Look into activities that align with your passion and help you combat the restlessness. Figure out what works best for you, and get going, buddy! This is the time for you to explore and enjoy.
Gather home treasures
Make sure to carry along a few little things that remind you of home. We’re talking about the simplest of things like maybe a blanket, a photo frame of your family and friends, or even a favorite jar of pickle your mom had made. These things may be small, but they do positively affect us when we’re at our lowest.
Let the traveler in you find new horizons. Make a bucket list and start ticking off your adventures. Plan short trips, explore different neighborhoods, or take long walks to undiscovered spots & cafés.
It’s so important to get acquainted with new people and develop new relationships. The best way to fall in love with a new place is to build a circle of friends to travel with. Talk to someone about your ideas and thoughts. Step out and experience things you've never experienced before. Adventure is out there, don’t forget that it is in your hands to go out and find it.
Talk to your loved ones.
Seeing you go far away isn't easy for your people at home either, although they are super proud of you. So talk to them at regular intervals. Please show them your gratitude and appreciation for making your dream come true, despite all the odds. Assure them that you are adaptive to all the changes around you and grow through whatever you are to go through.
Time for self
While it’s important to have regular communication with your folks back home, it would be a great thing for you to utilize this period for some self-care.
Learn the new tongue-twisting local language. Join a Zumba class, pick up a left unread book, or nurture a fresh potted plant in your room. Don’t think twice to do what you love to do, even if the day revolves around lazing on your bed watching Netflix.
Also, you must stay healthy despite being occupied otherwise. Get into those joggers and do a quick run around a nearby park and get some fresh air. This will help you to deal with the overwhelming whirlwind of emotions.
Remember, feeling homesick is a part of the process and is completely normal. Don’t let this feeling disrupt your overall experience. It’s okay to be in an unfamiliar place and make mistakes. Allow this new experience to transform your life. Stay positive and healthy, and you will be surprised at how enjoyable this could turn out to be.
Embark on this new journey with the support of your loved ones. Here’s to making the most out of your best years and building a home away from home.