I may not be studying abroad in another country, but I am studying away from home. The United States has 50 distinct states (unique in food, weather, and people) and I happen to study in a different state from the state I call home. I live in Missouri while my school is over a thousand miles away (1845.3 miles to be exact) in California.
Since I’ve been in college, I’ve only been able to visit them during Winter break, which is really tough for me (especially coming from a close family of eight). From my mom’s home cooking to my big family gatherings, I miss the comfort of home quite often. In the years that I’ve been in college, I’ve learned a thing or two to cope with homesickness. So the next you want to curl up under your blankets and wait for a particularly bad case of “I-miss-you/ this/ that” to pass, try out these tips!
1. Bring an album or a photograph of your family
Having your family with you (even in a photograph) does wonders to remedy against homesickness. It gives you a sense of peace knowing that they will be there (symbolically of course) every step of the way (in good times and bad). When you get your first “A” to when you pull your first all-nighter laying in your dorm room bed, sleep-deprived, after a difficult midterm, you can look at the faces of your family members knowing that it will all be worth it in the end.
2. Ask your family to send you care packages
A pack of top ramen noodles, candy, a new pair of underwear, and a hand-written note from your mom telling you “to do your best” may not seem all that much, but trust me, it’s the thought that truly counts in care packages. You’ll feel a sense of pride when you receive a package filled with college necessities, but most of all, filled with love and attention from the people who love you the most.
3. Write a letter to your family
Writing letters may seem like a practice of the past— an anachronism replaced by modern technology (text, email, Facebook messages)— but the visceral nature of handwriting a letter give you a more meaningful exchange that electronic messages can’t replace. Write a letter or two each semester and it’ll help bring a deeper meaning to your experiences in college while also translating your experiences to your family with more vivid emotions.
4. Plan regular Skype calls with your family
Modern technology has rapidly shrunk the world. With the push of buttons and the typing of keys, you can see and hear the faces and voices of your loved ones. Take advantage of that! Seeing their smiles or praising your siblings for their growth or hearing the comfort of their voices is enough to combat any case of homesickness!
So the next time you feel down in the dumps and missing your mom’s best dish, take advantage of these tips to help you survive homesickness in college!
Anthony is a Kaya Co Fellow a former intern of Edukasyon.ph. Born in Cebu, he immigrated with his family to the United States and is now a rising senior studying History at the University of Southern California. He was born in the Camotes Islands, is passionate about education, and a fan of everything Filipino.
Click here to get more education to careers advice from edukasyon.ph!