Monday, 31 December 2012

How I Deal With Homesickness

my first semester at uni was really long (almost 4 months) with no reading week and no visits home, which meant it was actually really hard on me, given how close i am to my family and how much i like my home comforts. i hadn't actually considered the fact that i could get homesick before i left home - i had just assumed that i would be too busy having fun and studying to stop and get homesick. however, around the 7 week mark, i started feeling incredibly homesick, and it was starting to really get me down and was impacting on all parts of my life. so, i created an action plan that i now use whenever i start to feel homesick, and here it is!

  1. Call home. now, this may sound unusual to you guys, but i rarely, if ever, called home last semester. i just really don't enjoy talking on the phone - i feel really awkward, often become unable to verbalise what i am thinking, and can never get decent signal. instead, what i do on a daily basis is chat with my parents over emails and texts, and talk to my brothers and friends on facebook. however, whenever i feel homesick, i man up and make a phone call home - no matter how much i dislike it, it is so comforting to hear a familiar voice down the other line.
  2. Let myself cry. i find the temptation here is to bottle everything up, not admitting that something is getting you down, which is not healthy and will eventually result in it all spilling over in an uncontrolled manner. so, i think the best thing to do is to let yourself sit down and have a good crying session when i feel overwhelmed - it leaves me feeling refreshed and allows me to cope with my sadness in a way that i feel is more manageable.
  3. Talk to my friends. the simple truth at uni is that chances are, if you're homesick, somebody else will be. a problem shared is a problem halved, as they say, and often your friends can give you some reassurance and advice that you wouldn't have thought of yourself. even if they don't, they'll have a few good jokes and a nice hug waiting for you, so feel free to talk to them when you're feeling down.
  4. Go on a night out. all my pieces of advice so far have been focused on admitting there's an issue, and allowing yourself to work on it. however, sometimes you just need a distraction, something to take your mind off it, and the best way to do that is to have a good time - go to the pub for a few drinks with friends, go to the cinema, just get some fresh air, a different environment, and something that will allow you to forget about it all for a short period of time.
  5. Study. this tip may not be for everyone, i am aware of that, however i find that most of the time, i really quite enjoy studying! so i get my head into my books, have an alright time of it, and remind myself that i'm at uni for a reason.
hopefully, next semester shouldn't be as difficult, emotionally, because we have the easter break in the middle of it, where i can go home and regroup.

until next time,

Eliza xxx

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