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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Summer heat, busy streets, water bottles, and coffee cups, early morning wake-up calls, lecture halls, 11:59 p.m. deadlines, and a long distance between family and friends.

Being an international student is hard; add COVID into the mix and you’ve got a very complicated headache. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, being far from home in times like these can be stressful. 

As a junior, I’ve had a few years to adjust to the change, but it never stops being difficult to not be there for birthdays and other special occasions. Over the years, I’ve adopted several relaxation techniques that help me re-group when I’m feeling particularly homesick. Here’s a few of them: 

  1. Rock Chalk Central 
  • Seriously, getting involved in clubs and orgs on campus is one of the best ways of not only getting more familiarized with the culture, but making friends and chasing feelings of isolation away (Remember to be safe and wear those masks!).
  1. My SSP 
  • My Student Support Program is a mental health advising app that’s free for KU students! If you feel uncomfortable talking with a mental health professional in person but still need that support, My SSP is a very convenient way to access those services! (P.S.: It’s available 24/7!)
  1. Take a walk around campus 
  • Be active! Doesn’t have to be a workout, but just going out and exploring more than the buildings in which you’re having classes can really be amazing! Go out at different times of the day and see how the campus looks: Is it busy? Empty? You might even find a favorite spot to chill out in. Bonus: check out the beautiful sunsets (or sunrises) near the Campanile! (It’s really gorgeous). 
  1. Meditate
  • Clearing your mind for even just a few minutes can be a great way to de-stress. It’s how I always find motivation to keep on studying and meeting those 11:59 p.m. deadlines without struggling to finish. A calm mind is a focused mind! Here’s a short 10-minute meditation that helped me out when I got started.
  1. Playlists 
  1. Keep in touch with your friends and family 
  • This one can sound pretty lame to include on a list, but sometimes, especially in the first few months after we’ve just left our home, we want to be independent, figure it out ourselves and be left alone. So, we ignore our family and friends, our support system in many ways. They can help! Honest! Even just a five minute conversation with those you hold dear can put you in a better mood, and that’s worth more than gold! 

There are so many more things to talk about that you can do to feel better and take care of yourself while going through this transition period, but for now, I leave you with these, and hopefully, they help you out as much as they did me. We’ve got this, Jayhawks!

Hi, I'm Giuliana, a junior at KU. Double majoring in journalism and psychology. I'm excited to share my stories with you!
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