As the new semester approaches, I am sure many students are moving closer to the university, and for most of us, it means that we will have to live away from our families for some time. Whether it’s 500m or 12,756 km, being away from home and loved ones are always tough. I have been away from home for almost 2 years, so here are my tips on dealing with homesickness.
Things to Do
#1 Text and Call Family and Friends Often
This tip might sound like a no-brainer, especially since we are discussing homesickness. Still, I realise that even though I encounter homesickness, I often forget to check in with my parents and younger siblings. It may be because I am having a busy time with school, or I am just distracted by a deadline.
Thus, I make it a habit to check in with my family either by sending some pictures of what I am eating that day or just a funny video I have seen on my Tik Tok For You page that day. And if you have no idea what to talk to your parents about, just ask them to send a picture of your pet.
#2 Talk, Write, Express Your Feelings
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by my feelings of homesickness, I journal. It enables me to pinpoint the source of my homesickness. Am I missing the food from home, or am I lonely and missing my hometown friends? Even if it does not solve your problems, acknowledging your feelings will help you feel better because you realise that your feelings are normal. Another bonus tip is to make friends with people living away from home because they can relate and share their tips for coping with homesickness.
#3 Find a new hobby
Whenever I feel homesick, I do not spend my time productively because I can dwell on my emotions and want to go home to see my loved ones. Filling up the extra time you have on a hobby that will keep you happy will help reduce the feelings of homesickness because you are occupied with the tasks.
Things Not To Do
#1 Spend time with Bad Company
One mistake I realise I sometimes still make whenever I feel homesick is spending time with bad company. I firmly believe that spending time alone is better than being with negative people. They can bring you down and make you feel even worse because surrounding yourself with people with a dull outlook on life will make you sink deeper.
#2 Suppress your Emotions
One of the best pieces of information I have ever received is always acknowledging your feelings. Everyone deserves and all our emotions are valid.
Imagine a bottle, and the liquid inside the bottle represents our emotions. When we suppress our feelings, we leave the liquid in the bottle, but if we acknowledge our senses, the bottle is emptied out. If we continuously pour liquid into the bottle, what happens when it starts to overflow? An explosion? No. A mental breakdown.
#3 Not Taking Care of Your Health
Whether it is your mental or physical, I am sure that everyone can confirm that both hugely impact our ability to function. When dealing with homesickness, we might feel less motivated to hit the gym, but we should never abandon the tasks that keep us in optimal condition. We need to remember the reason we moved away from home, which is to receive an education and do well at university, and we will not be able to achieve our goals if our health is not doing well. Also, take advantage of the mental health help facilities prepared by the university if you need to!
That’s it! Those are my tips on coping with homesickness while away at university. I hope my suggestions work for you, and if you have any more information you would like to share, please send them in the comments below!