Five Tips for Beating Homesickness (From Someone Who Really Gets It)
Sometimes, being away from home can be a real bummer. You might feel like Spirited Away's Chihiro, stuck in a place you don't fully understand, with tons of stresses bearing down on you. But try not to worry. Here's five tips to beat homesickness from someone who really (REALLY) understands...
1) Stay in Touch
It can be tempting to throw yourself totally into college life, thinking that if you try to forget about your friends at home that time will pass quicker, but really this isn't the case. A quick phone or Skype call a couple of times a week will mean a lot to your parents as well as your friends. Let them know you're thinking of them, and they'll let you know how proud they are of you.
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2) Get out and about
While you pay a healthy amount of attention to the folks back home, getting right into the full swing of life at UChicago really does make time fly. Audition for plays, join clubs you've always secretly wanted to, take up a new hobby, learn a new language, get involved with your house. There are just some of the ways you can throw yourself headfirst into UChicago, really make a positive contribution to the community and get yourself out of the four walls of your dorm room. Between classes, RSO’s, and hanging out with friends, you will barely have any time to miss home!
3) Create a home away from home
Photos, written messages from home-friends, and even a flag if you're from another country, can make your dorm room feel more like home. Bringing some of your favourite snacks from home also helps with this. Making a pump-up playlist can also help you feel more motivated and bring up fun memories, so get your dance on for a mini party in your room when you feel sluggish or teary.
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4) Talk about it
If you feel really down, and want to vent, that’s okay too. Whether it’s a friend, an RA/RH, or anyone else on campus you feel comfortable talking to, letting someone know how you feel can really put your problems in perspective, and can remind you just how many people here care about you. No one wants you to be upset, so help others to help you by reaching out. Chances are, when your friends find out you've been feeling down, they'll go out of their way to organise fun things to get you out of your rut. You aren't being a burden, they want to help.
5) Watch this Space
Don’t obsess over the passing of time, but a simple wall calendar can not only make you feel more organised and less stressed, but you can also cross off the days as they pass, really helping you feel like you're making progress through the quarter. Remember that time generally goes quicker when you pay less attention to it, so just take each days it comes. Get your work done, and try not to think about whats going to happen in a month, or a year, or four years from now. Focus on the week ahead of you and all the tasks you need to complete, and I promise you wont even notice time fly. Don’t pressure yourself too much to get A’s in absolutely everything; let yourself breathe, and really enjoy your college experience. If you’re from far away, you have a very unique opportunity to experience a new lifestyle and a new city, so don't squander that.
Featured image via, copyright Studio Ghibli