As I’ve said before, I’m in Rome for the semester and so far, everything is astounding. The buildings, the people, and the food amaze me everyday, and I’ve only been here a week!
That being said, homesickness abroad is something that happens to everyone at some point. And let me tell you, from experiences in the past, this is a contagious illness. It’s hard to not catch some feelings of missing Mom, or Oreos, or your bed when one of your friends is feeling super homesick.
(And yes, my friends and I have a stash of Oreos over here in Rome, so we’re doing okay on that front.)
The key to homesickness is not letting it beat you. Not letting it keep you from experiencing the culture, the places, and adventuring around your new temporary home.
So what can you do to make your semester (or year) abroad successful?
Don’t feel guilty.
Like I said above, homesickness abroad is NORMAL. Everyone gets it. So don’t hole yourself up or pretend like nothing is wrong, and then go cry yourself to sleep because you feel “less strong” or “less brave” than your classmates. You don’t have to act peppy if you don’t feel that way, and if someone asks, just let them know your feeling a little homesick today. Letting people know what’s going on is important to help get you back on track.
Don’t wallow in your homesickness.
It’s okay to feel homesick, but try to beat it. (I assume that’s how you landed here on my blog!) Don’t stay in if your friends are going out to dinner, and don’t constantly complain. Do things to try and make yourself feel better.
Don’t call home all the time.
Now, I’m not saying don’t call home at all. That would be a bad idea. *cue all the worried parents* However, in order to get acclimated to your new surroundings, and stop feeling like you are missing out on things at home, you need to keep a little distance.
A good amount is once a week. Call home, tell them about your week, what’s planned for the next, and catch up on their lives.
Calling home everyday will just make you miss them more.
Jump out of your comfort zone.
Does a typical Tuesday night when your home consist of you sitting in your bed watching Stranger Things with goldfish dust on your hands?
BUT. We’re abroad people!!! Don’t do that here. Being by yourself allows your mind to wander and make you miss home more than normal, especially when you are doing typical “home activities” but in a foreign building abroad.
What to do instead? Go out and get gelato with friends, or some tapas or aperitivi. Just a quick thing to get you out and about.
Remember, we aren’t here that long.
I have 15 weeks abroad, and I’ve already been here for one. Luckily, I haven’t felt homesick yet, but when my mind starts to think about the things I miss, I remind myself that the time is going to fly by, and that I’ll never get to do this again. 15 weeks is such a short period of our entire lives and I’m going to enjoy every second of it to the best of my abilities.
Homesickness is real, and it’s relentless, but don’t let it make you regret not doing something abroad. Rely on your friends, and have an awesome semester!
P.S. How do you like to combat homesickness, both abroad and just at school?