As an international student who lives eight thousand miles away from home, I deal with the odd case of homesickness. While the first semester was tough, I came to learn how to make my situation a little better. Whether you’re an international student, or Iowa City is a place away from home, we all go through it sometime. This article has the top five ways to deal with homesickness. You’ll feel better in no time!
1. Keep familiar things around you
One of the first things I did when I came to Iowa City was print out pictures of my family and friends. Now my room walls are mostly covered with pictures that remind me of the wonderful memories I’ve had, and let me tell you, they never fail to make me smile. It doesn’t necessarily have to be photos. You can cook food that reminds you of home or just keep objects around, like a teddy bear, that will give you that extra bit of comfort. What’s better than a cuddly teddy bear to remind you of your days at home?
2. Remember why you’re here
There’s going to be a brief moment where you may feel like giving up and returning home, but you have to remember why you’re here in the first place and that this is a choice you made. Picture yourself graduating and getting that degree you’ve been working towards. Being away from home is preparing you to be an independent individual, and it also gives you the chance of exploring the things you’re passionate about. You have to hold on and just know that your time away from home is going to be so worth it. You’ve got this, and trust me you’ll be thanking yourself in the future!
3. Technology is here for you
Some people complain about technology and how people are too engrossed in their devices, but let me tell you that it’s truly a gift when it comes to communicating with your family and friends back home. There are so many ways to socialize when you’re unable to meet in person, some of them being FaceTime and Skype. I am so thankful for this because it gives me the chance to spend time with my family and friends without actually being next to them physically. It’s tough, but it’s better than nothing right?
4. Work out!
I’ve never been an exercise manic, but it certainly helps take my mind off of home for a bit. Not only is it a great stress reliever, but it releases endorphins, natural chemicals, that make you feel good, instead on dwelling on the fact that you’re away from home. Plug in your earphones or watch a show while you sweat it out. It doesn’t even have to be a super long workout. Go for a run around campus or join a group class. Not only will you feel good about yourself, but you’ll be making new friends too! Just do what you feel comfortable with and have fun!
5. Talk it out with your friends
You’re a college student among thousands of other kids out there, so it’s safe to say that you’re all pretty much in the same boat. Make the most of your roommates and friends because I’m sure they’re going through the same thing. Some people tend to have different ways of coping with their sitations, but talking it out with someone will really cheer you up because you’ll be exchanging unique memories, and you’ll also get to know the person a little better. It’s quite refreshing!
So, to all my fellow students out there, it gets better, I promise. These are the ways I’ve dealt with, being so far away from my family. Just remember, soon enough you’ll be on a plane, or in a car, making your way back to the place you call home. But that shouldn’t stop you from having fun here!