You're about to move to another city to start a program at a university or college. What challenges worry you the most?
Is dealing with homesickness at the top of your list?
If so, knowing its signs can help you deal with it so you can focus on your study goals.
How Do You Know If You're Homesick?
It's good to know the signs of homesickness so you don't confuse it with depression.
The signs of homesickness are:
Missing home and family
Continuous feeling of sadness
Lack of desire to blend in with your new environment
Homesickness versus depression:
While homesickness can ease up in a few weeks, depression is usually connected to a longer-term sense of low mood or sadness. Depression also comes with the feeling of worthlessness and low self-esteem.
Joy recently moved across the country to study. She's been attending all her classes in the first month, but she finds herself crying frequently over small things, feeling lonely, and calling home every day. She's most likely...
Bring Comfort From Home
Bringing things from home can make your new place feel more like home.
For example, take things like:
A printed picture of your loved ones
Your favourite blanket or pillow
A stuffed animal
Rashea recently moved to Chicago to study arts. She misses her parents, two younger brothers, and the family dog. She also wishes she'd brought her favorite bike with her. What could she do to give her comfort and remind her of home?
Make It Your Hometown
Aside from friends and family, what makes somewhere home? Having a routine, isn't it?
When you move away, you leave your routine behind and feel empty for a while until you create a new one.
Create a sense of trust and belonging that you're missing in the new city by:
Finding a nice place for a walk
Exploring new places and attractions
Signing up at a gym close by
Finding a coffee shop to sit and do your assignments in
Build Your Own Social Circle
Join a book/movie club
Joining a club helps you find like-minded people in a group you can share opinions with and learn new perspectives from.
Do volunteer work
By doing volunteer work, you'll learn new skills, feel valued, and make friends with other volunteers who may even be students like you.
These activities will keep you busy, connect you with others, and help you feel less homesick.
Keep Your Family And Friends Posted
Keep your family and friends in the loop about your new life.
Share new and exciting moments with them by:
Giving them a voice/video call
Posting a story on Instagram
Creating a Whats app group for sharing beautiful moments
When you call your family and friends, tell them you miss them, you miss home, and you're going to visit them at the end of the semester or school year. Invite them to visit you!
By doing this, you can soothe yourself and receive support from your family and friends, even though they're far away.
If you're worried you might feel homesick, try these strategies to feel better:
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