Written by Lisaveta Stepanova
Well, here I am… At the university of my dreams, studying something that I love, and yet, the only thing that I can think of is how I miss my dog and my friends, and how my mother used to comfort me after a long day with my favourite lasagne.
It can even seem like no one in this country is quite like the people that you left behind in your hometown. And, not long after, you start wondering if you have made the right choice going away for your studies.
Does this sound familiar? I know it does, because every student who chooses to go abroad has experienced this to a certain extent. But don’t let this setback make you think you did the biggest mistake of your life. Instead, let this experience become your strength. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eh?
To get rid of this feeling, try these simple methods that will make your life easier. With a boost of endorphins, every bit of your homesickness will fly away!
This may seem obvious, but it is hard to force yourself to go out of your room and talk to people who “just don’t get you!”. Relax. This is not true at all. Maybe to some the experience of living abroad comes as less stressful, but it does not mean that they don’t understand what you are going through. Try to be kinder to people and grant them just this once the benefit of the doubt.
Who knows, maybe that’s how you will meet the love of your life!
2. Start your day with something that makes you feel good
The world seems just a little brighter when you start your day with a 10-minutes yoga practice or meditation. When your body is relaxed, there is less tension in your brain, as well. As a result, you feel less stressed and alone at the end of the day. If it was a particularly horrible day, do the same before going to sleep. It is important to let go of the negative emotions, so that they would not intoxicate your next day with anxiety.
3. Study groups
Students are often overwhelmed with the amount of study material they get. It is understandable, especially during exam periods. Most of us lock ourselves in libraries or our dorms, leaving no room for social contact, but that’s exactly why we start feeling blue. You start remembering your happy past, when you didn’t have to study so much and never felt abandoned. Understandable, but wrong.
Organise your classmates to go to a nice coffee corner, and go over the material together! You will feel a social connection to this person, and, moreover, you will have a chance to learn some of the material better, with the help of classmates. It’s a win-win!
4. Listen to music
Odd suggestion, right? But it’s pretty simple. When you are cooking your meal, or walking to the university, pick a happy song that will energize you. In a couple of minutes, you won’t even notice how your hips will start moving on their own! What better way is there to boost your endorphin levels thank shaking it?
5. Skype or going out?
I often had to choose between the two myself, but every time I chose Skyping with my friends or family instead of watching a movie with my neighbours or classmates, I always ended up depressed and nostalgic.
The simple truth is that Skype is great, but it’s not something that can be a substitute to a face-to-face interaction. If you feel homesick, fight your instincts and get out of the house: do something that will get your full attention! A good idea would be bowling or football, or any other interactive experience that absorbs you completely.
In an hour, you won’t remember why you felt so alone.
There, that’s not too much, right? These 5 tips can turn your life around and bring back the happiness and energy to study abroad once again. At some point, you will come up with your own “medicine” for homesickness, and we here, the Ambassadors of Studyportals, encourage you to do so as soon as possible.