I’m about three weeks into my London adventures and I can say with confidence that I’ve become acclimated to everything and the way it works. I’ve even been morphing into softer language, as per the request of my flatmate who claims he “can’t understand me with out a British accent”
Ask and ye shall recieve. I prefer it anyhow. (although for the sake of not sounding pretentious, I won’t make a full change over)
One thing I haven’t really been keen on is being away from my family. Call me needy, dependent, immature, or whatever you will, but I know we all feel like this from time to time.
That’s why I’m going to do a little post on Homesickness.
Lets back up. What am I doing over on the other side of the pond in the first place? I’m studying abroad, gaining my independence and becoming an adult, blah de blah. In all seriousness, I truly believe this year is for me to grow as an individual and realize how capable at life I am. I’m not dependent on my parents, but it’s nice to have them there.
This year, I’m on my own.
At first, it’s been hard. You could say I had a classic case of homesickness:
crying, isolation, all or nothing thinking, you get the picture.
But the key is, what did I do about it? Alone in the bustling city of London, what sane person couldn’t find something to distract?
For the first couple of days…erm….lots of days….I simply couldn’t. I felt like I was the only person sitting until 12pm in my room weeping because I missed my family. Some adult I am, I thought to myself.
So I went outside. I got involved. I made something outside myself to invest in.
And it’s been working. I feel like my life is useful here, like I’m not just wasting my time feeling nostalgic for what I left behind in the states. That’s what I’m here for, to make a new life for myself and live it up!
So what advice do I have?
1. Don’t isolate. I know it feels like you’re alone and being alone perpetuates feelings of wanting to be alone. Don’t do it. Get out of your room even to fill your water bottle and say hi to whoever you see. The more personal interaction you have, the more you’ll feel included and whole.
2. Get out of your room. Go explore your surroundings. It will get your mind off of whatever you are missing and chances are you’ll find something really exciting!
3. Don’t dwell on it and know it will pass. My life dream is to travel and move abroad but even I’m feeling homesick for home? It can happen to anyone, even adults. And Smile at yourself. Seriously, my Dad taught me this one and even if you’re crying, it can help you see clear to sunnier skies 🙂
4. Do something you love. Do you usually really love writing? Don’t forget about it. Running? Don’t stop! Oftentimes hobbies involve other people as well, so join a club and see what friends you can make. My flatmate and I made soup, since I love to cook. It was just what I needed!
5. If you need to, contact those you are homesick for. Call them, send a letter or an email. It’s okay to talk to them and don’t think that just because you’re “on your own” that you can’t tell them about your day and keep them in your life. Being an adult doesn’t mean being alone.
6. Engage in the culture. What will you find when you look for it? Local bookstores? Events? I found a farmer’s market!
Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Homesickness is so common that there’s no reason to feel alone. If you’re stuck in the middle of it, pour yourself a hot mug of tea and stew about it for awhile, but then seriously and try some of the things I listed above. They worked for me, and I’m pretty sentimental.
Best of luck in your travels!