Ever had those moments when you are busy organizing your things in your dorm room, and then suddenly bump into an old stuff you used to have back home? You look at it and just found yourself drowning in nostalgia. “I wish I were back home,” you tell yourself. But oh dear, the semester has just started and you cannot leave yet! You look at the calendar and how you wish the dreadful days will be over soon.
No matter how exciting moving away for college is, even the strongest and most independent students can still find themselves struck with homesickness.
It is the sad feeling you experience when you are away from your home, your family, or your own bed. While it is not an easy feeling, just remember that you are not alone! Here are some easy hacks on how you can beat that longing feeling:
It’s okay to feel homesick
Studying abroad lets you meet other people and discover a different environment. However, as you transfer to your new surrounding, that feeling of isolation cannot be avoided. At some point, you’re bound to miss your family and friends, and it’s just normal. Keep in mind that these situations are all part of your development and more importantly, it won’t last long. Sure it takes time, but once you’ve figured it out, you’d know how to handle homesickness.
Turn your weakness into your strength. Is the thought of home making you feel sad? Think happy thoughts! Things may be rough now but hey, school term is not #forever and there are still a lot of long weekends and holidays to look forward to. Keep calm and stay positive. Give yourself some love by looking at the brighter side of life, like trying new hobbies, making new friends, expanding your knowledge, unlocking new talents, or appreciating your independence.
Find a familiar space
Living inside the four walls of your room can sometimes make you feel like you’re in a cage. The trick to fight this is to bring a bit of your home with you. Does your place allow you to design your own bedroom? If yes, take this opportunity to make your dorm room as comfy as possible. Why not hang a family photo that could bring you a bit of smile everyday? How about keeping a set of your favorite pillow and blankets? Doing these things can help you feel somehow connected even if you are far away.
Get out of your room
When you feel alone, it may be tempting to lock yourself out and find your own solace, but isolating yourself can make the feeling a lot heavier. Though social media may be a good way to stay in touch with the people you love, spending too much time on it can make you feel even lonelier. Get yourself involved with other activities outside those four walls. Instead of studying inside your room the whole day, why not use your school’s library? You can also invite your new dorm mates or classmates for a movie night. Joining an organization, applying for a part-time job, exercising, or walking in the park are just some of the countless ways to keep you away from those negative thoughts and help you realize that studying abroad is amazing.
Make the best out of your experiences
Come on and have some fun! Now’s the time to pack those bags and explore the city. Take some beautiful photos, try some delicacies you’ve never tasted before, be acquainted with a new culture, learn a new language, and create new memories! Being in a foreign land doesn’t have to be scary. There are many things you can do to make each day worthwhile versus sulking alone. For sure, your family and friends back home would love for you to maximize your study abroad experience as much as you can.
Share your battles
Dealing with homesickness doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need to. Whether it’s an issue with your academics, your finances, or even your emotions, remember that there are people who are always ready to support you. It can be your professors, newfound friends, friends back home, family, or your school’s guidance counselor or international office.
Beating homesickness is not something you can accomplish overnight, but with the right attitude, a positive mindset, and the will to try, you can overcome it or better yet, prevent it from bothering you at all.
Visit Edukasyon.ph’s Study Abroad page and discover education opportunities from across the globe.