I would be lying if I said I have never gotten homesick. I get homesick all the time. I miss talking to my mom while watching TV. I miss texting my friends every weird little thought I have throughout the day. I miss eating dinner with my family. I miss my dog.
It is almost impossible to be in a different country for four months and not get at least a little bit homesick. It is completely normal to miss home, and there are a number of different ways it can show itself and quite a few solutions:
I talk to my family on Skype once a week, on Sunday afternoons. I always come out of those conversations feeling so much better about myself and my decision to study abroad. Just being able to see my family and talk to them about my classes and their different activities is enough for me to not feel homesick anymore.
Making a family recipe is a popular choice for getting over homesickness, and we have all benefited from pots of homemade soup and fresh baked casseroles. Last week, we all pitched in to make a batch of pancakes. Other people have their moms email them family recipes for soup and rice pudding. My favorite was the pancake night because we had real maple syrup that was shipped to one of the girls from her mom.
Other people watch their favorite movies and listen to music that reminds them of home. For me, it’s Johnny Cash. At home, we listen to Johnny Cash almost every Sunday during breakfast. Hearing the familiar songs makes me feel a little bit closer to home.
A Sense of Community
However the best cure for homesickness is to talk to other people. All of us have homesickness, but we can help each other out. I always feel better after spending a few hours joking and laughing with my hall mates than I do after watching four hours of Netflix. Most of the things we talk about are trivial. The mac and cheese from the dining hall that we miss so much. Mutual friends that we didn’t know we had. Typical girl things like boys, movies, and clothes. Other things are more serious. Everyone has someone that they really miss from home. Whether it’s a boyfriend, a best friend, or a family member, we can all relate to the feeling of missing someone thousands of miles away.
I’m really glad that I have other Arcadians here with me in Scotland. If we ever get homesick, we can just reminisce about different things that happened at Arcadia or different American staples that we miss. Being here with these girls has made the transition so much easier, and the homesickness so much easier to deal with because it’s like we have a little piece of home right here with us!
Photo by Jo