First week of school was nice. New friends, new surroundings, new life. There was nothing but excitement coursing through this Arab girl’s mind. Third week rolled around, and the excitement wore off to be replaced by a strong longing for this:
It was hard. Even the small things, like food, brought about a dark cloud of homesickness. People weren’t as nice, the temperature wasn’t as hot, there was no shattafeh (a very useful and very important part of an Arab’s bathroom routine. Look it up). Nothing was as nice anymore, and nothing compared to home.
Important question: Did it end?
Another important question: How?
Here are a few things you can do for your homesick friends:
1. Let them be homesick.
It’s never, ever, good to tell them that they’re being emotional, or irrational, or that they should get over it. Homesickness is natural, so respect that they’re going through something difficult.
2. Check in on them.
If you know that a friend is homesick, call them. Get lunch together. Homesickness makes you feel alone — this will help.
3. Join forces.
If you and your friend are homesick, then you should get together and vent. Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that someone else is also homesick.
Things you can do for your homesick self:
1. Treat yourself.
Go out, enjoy yourself, splurge a little, and do something, anything, fun. Do not lock yourself in your room.
2. Seek out others.
If you feel really really homesick, then call a friend, and talk about it.
3. Call family.
It might seem counterproductive at the time – like you’ll feel even more homesick – but you’ll feel a lot better after talking to your family and friends back home. You might cry a little, but that’s a great way to feel better.
4. Stay positive.
Yes, this is cliché, but this is actually really important. Do not make any hasty decisions when you’re homesick. You need to remember why you’re at college, that your parents may be paying a lot of money, and that they’re proud.
Here’s the ultimate remedy, though:
I know. That sounds like a whole lotta BS. But it really is the ultimate remedy. No matter how much you do for yourself, you’ll still feel a little bad here and there. The only way to get rid of it is by being patient.
I’m sharing this with you as a previously-homesick girl from very far away, a veteran of homesickness. A survivor. And you will be one too.