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Experiences

Home Sweet Home: How I Deal With Homesickness as an International Student

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

When I first moved to Amherst for college during the spring semester of my freshman year (when everything was online and most students, including myself, had to live alone), I was a wee little kid from India who had never lived apart from her parents. And missing home was not an easy feeling.

Let’s start with something that I absolutely do not recommend (learned this the hard way) — denial. I did not want to be homesick. Because who does? I fought back tears every time I talked to my mom and told her that I was fine. That she was worrying without good reason. That I had plans for the night and couldn’t talk for long. In reality, I sat alone in my dorm room gorging myself on Berk spring rolls and watching anime. But, oh, who was I kidding? This was my mother. She saw right through me as she always does. She just made the decision to give me space, and I’m glad she did. I may have never accepted my homesickness otherwise.

Which brings me to an important point. A recurring theme you will see in this article is acceptance. It was key to improving my overwhelming emotions. So, here are little ways I dealt with homesickness as an international student from India.

Talk to the people you miss

If this wasn’t obvious already from my outburst in the beginning, please talk to them. And not just your family; your friends, almost-but-not-fully friends, acquaintances, and more. Trust me when I say this brings you closer to home. I know it’s hard to admit you miss them before they do, but it is so worth it.

No more tears left to cry

I’m going to repeat myself like a broken record — acceptance is key. I wish I’d just cried to my mom whenever I needed to. I should have just embraced my homesickness, because, and I wish you not to cringe… it is what it is. Homesickness is normal. It is perfectly okay. Remember everything you love about home and how you’ll be able to experience it all as if for the first time when you go back. Everything is going to be alright.

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You may never get over it

Bear with me for talking about acceptance so much, but it is very necessary. I will always miss home every time I leave. But now, I know that I will be fine. In fact, I relish telling my family and friends how much I miss them and it has brought us closer than ever before.

Now, none of these tips are surefire ways to get you through college. I’m a junior and I’m still learning to adapt to this country every single day. But, I hope I can provide a sense of comfort and solidarity to anyone reading this. You are not alone. Your emotions and perfectly normal and valid.

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Pooja Panuganti

U Mass Amherst '24

Pooja is a sophomore business major and YA romance books are her guilty pleasure!
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