Coping with Homesickness
As an international student, I can completely relate to many of the incoming international freshers who for many, will be the first time they will be living away from home and the familiarity of friends and family. While the idea of newfound independence that comes from moving away from home is very exciting, it can also have the tendency to be very scary and intimidating at times and there may or may not be moments where the pang of homesickness hits. Sometimes it takes merely a few days or even a week before you really start feeling the primary onset of homesickness which may be triggered out of the blue and sometimes especially during the first few weeks of university can be quite hard for some to cope with.
I remember my first wave of homesickness, which happened when I was feeling quite ill and I recalled how during the times when I was ill back at home, my mum would be the one taking care of me and made sure recovered quickly. Unfortunately, since I was far away from home and self reliant, I had to think of doing all the mundane life schedules like laundry and cooking my meals despite being sick, I had a moment where I was so frustrated that I ended up breaking down into tears. I remember thinking about how much I wanted to go home and I missed my dogs, parents and the familiarity of my own bedroom and house. Thankfully I was able to confide in some friends who also happend to be international students and could empathise with how I was feeling. Soon after, I was back to normal and had a much more positve outlook on how I was going to adapt to my new life in the UK.
One of the most effective and straightforward ways to combat these waves of homesickness is by staying in touch. Thankfully we live in a digital age where technology and social media is easily accessible to many, meaning home is just a phone call away- literally. So whenever you can, make sure to pick up the phone and give your folks a little ring to see how everything is going back home and for sure your parents will want to hear how your first year at uni is going so far. I tend to message my family at least every other day, if not everyday through our whatsapp group. This is just a good way to reassure them that you are doing ok and keep them up to date with everything that is going on.
Do not forget that you are not alone in this and many people are experiencing the same things you may be feeling- so in order to make your first year the most memorable and enjoyable, confide in friends and find things that you enjoy doing whilst focusing on your studies. Wishing you guys all the best for the year ahead!