I am a big advocate for embracing homesickness. Owning every feeling that comes with the experience of leaving home, living abroad and travelling on your own is important.
What do I mean how to embrace homesickness?
Well, I mean you shouldn’t let yourself get buried in it. But you should pay attention to what it’s telling you.
Studying abroad can be a tough experience. Especially for someone who has a strong bond with their family and friends. After all you voluntarily leave it all behind and move abroad all on your own?
I have to admit I was quite anxious about that aspect of moving abroad. It was obvious I was going to miss my family, but I was also afraid that some of my family relationships can actually suffer because of my absence. I am glad to tell you it was actually the opposite. Since I moved away and I come back home only from time to time for a couple of weeks, I can say I fell closer to them than ever.
But at the beginning it wasn’t that easy.
University can be a scary and lonely place. It’s also overwhelming at the beginning and you may feel like you’re all alone in this. Plus that you’re the only one struggling to find friends and cope with the workload. You are not the only one.
My first months at uni were tough. I was doing my best to understand the classes and not fall behind with my work, but I was being eaten away by homesickness. So I would spend countless hours on skype, leading my mother to ask me if I wanted to give up and go back. No, I didn’t. But I was counting down the days to Christmas, when I would be able to visit my family.
Now, I have a pretty regular schedule of going back home, so I see them all every 3-5 months. It may seem silly, but my first three months away seemed like eternity.
But it was good. It was healthy to go through these tough times to realise how much I love them and miss them. It’s good to embrace your homesickness. Now I appreciate every minute of being home. Spending quality time with my family is much more important than before.
It has also made me a stronger person. Once you start travelling, you start leaving people you have come to like or love in the places you lived in or visited. And you can never be in two or three places at a time. It sucks, but it makes you tough. It makes you believe that you can stand anything and that every night spend on the airport or on the bus is worth it if you’re going to see those you love.
So let your homesickness do what is has to do: tell you that there are people you love somewhere in the world.
But still, in order not to spend your whole university time in your bedroom on skype with your mom/sister/best friend etc. I have compiled a list of my personal remedies for when I am feeling homesick and all alone in the big world.