Homesickness. It’s something no one is immune from. Especially if you’re thousands of miles away from home, in a foreign university, in a country you’ve probably only seen in movies.
And the worst part is that, no matter how much you’re warned about it, you’re never fully prepared. The local food will make you miss the flavours of your land more than you expect. The unfamiliar faces surrounding you will only reveal how much comfort you got from being around loved ones at home. And the biggest surprise will be how much you miss hearing and talking in your own language.
But just like the case with any physical sickness, homesickness comes with a few, let’s just say, “immunity boosters”.
Find People Like Yourself
Unless you’re from Timbuktu or some other equally remote place, you won’t be the only one who looks like yourself in your new university. If you’re lucky, you might even find someone on your dormitory floor. And most universities have local clubs for people from your part of the world.
Bring A Bit Of Home With You
Wouldn’t it be nice if whenever you step into your dorm room, you enter a mini-version of your home? A photo of your family on the study table? Maybe. A flag of your nation hanging above your bed? Sure. A life-size cardboard cutout of Bonzo, your dashing golden retriever? Definitely.
Focus On The Good In The New
Despite all their flaws, we all love our home towns. But the thing is, they do have flaws. Sometimes it’s the air quality, sometimes it’s the weather, most of the time it’s the traffic that makes you want to pull out your hair. And chances are that the country you are in now ranks much higher in those counts. So remind yourself of how lucky you are to experience it.
Keep In Touch
Once upon a time, the only option for foreign students to get in touch with family back home was expensive ISD calls. Now one tap on a smartphone screen will connect you on a video call with your loved ones on the other side of the world. The virtual connection is like a cushion when reality hits you hard in a foreign land. But make sure you don’t become too used to it (that cushion can feel too comfortable to let go off).
Keep Yourself Busy
This is an easy one. A typical day in college can be hectic enough to keep your mind off home. There are classes, societies, clubs, and more to fill up your time table. Any time left can be well spent exploring your new town. And with so much to do, if you still spend time missing home, you’re kind of missing the point of college life, no?
Most Of All, Be Patient
If adjusting to the new environment has not been easy for you, we’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not supposed to be. In fact, if you ask around, you’ll also realise that you’re not the only one who’s having a hard time. And speaking of time, remember that you’ll have to give your new country plenty of it. And then it’ll begin feeling like the home you’re missing.