When you move far away from what you are familiar with occasionally you have moments where you wish that you could be back there for just a moment. It hits people whether they are on vacation, or if they move away to a different city or country (and in my instance a different continent). This feeling is called homesickness, and it has hit me like a truck this last week, it has affected how I acted, what I wanted to do with my week and overall my progress in my school work. It doesn’t mean I don’t like where I am, or I’m not enjoying my trip. It basically means I miss my family and friends from home who I know are rooting for me to do well out here.
When you study abroad it is perfectly normal to feel this way, as studying abroad is like a rollercoaster where you have super high moments and then you have super low moments all together growing you as a person and creating awesome memories you will have for the rest of your life. And so this blog I wanted to talk about basic homesickness issues that are common and that I have dealt with myself and how I’ve dealt with them.
1. Missing Family
This is probably the most common thing to be homesick about, as your family plays a big component almost everyday in your life. My family has personally been a big part of my whole life, they’ve always had my back and I always felt like I could talk about anything with them. I’ve never been gone from my family longer than two months at most, and have always been an hour at most from my parents house. So moving across the world 6,000 miles away from them, it can be really hard sometimes. How I’ve personally dealt with this problem is by FaceTime, I FaceTime my parents everyday and trust me it really makes a difference. I can still talk to them about everyday matters and when I have a bad day I know that they are always willing to listen, which is an awesome thing. Technology has really made communication easy as well, and so for me I am so thankful that I have FaceTime as an option.
2. Missing Friends
This is also very common with any big move, and has been something I have personally had a hard time with. With me especially having Asperger’s syndrome it’s hard for me to find friends, and so one of my biggest fears about leaving for Germany was having to start all over and being all alone (obviously that wasn’t the case). How I’ve dealt with this is by being social in Germany and doing things I wouldn’t do in the US by going out of my way to talk to people. I also talk to a few of my friends from home as well, even though we don’t talk everyday and it is more like a biweekly thing when I do talk to them it is always a great time. How I’ve talked to my friends from California is mostly by Facebook messenger, or whatsApp. These apps are essential for anyone living abroad as it is like texting over internet (iMessage works the same way). Also FaceTime is a great tool, I FaceTimed my friend yesterday and it really is great being able to see them and talk to them like they’re in front of you. Skype and google hangouts work as well and are great tools for people who do not have iPhones and still want an experience like FaceTime.
3. Missing Your Hometown
This is another very common thing to miss, as they say “There is no place like home”. I do miss the beach every once in a while, and I miss the weather in California as well, as the weather out here is not as good as in San Diego. But really this hasn’t really been a issue for me personally as I like my surroundings around me here and have adjusted well to this landscape. But anyone who does miss home what I could say is possibly go hiking somewhere nearby you, try to get your mind off of home and enjoy where you are currently (as you may be surprised the beauty around you is almost as good as home).
If you choose to study abroad or live far away from where you currently live, it is perfectly normal to feel homesick every once in a while. Being homesick does not mean you don’t like where you are, it just simply means you miss your friends and family at home who are rooting for you (really think that way, it really helps to do that). I hope this was helpful to those who are dealing with something similar.
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