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Homesickness: From "BEST DAY EVER" to "I'm Going to Ugly Cry For Two Hours"

Alright everyone, buckle up and get ready for some truth spilling.

Homesickness it is not a myth. It is real and it can hit you at any time, and if you know what some of the signs may look like it will help you out a whole lot more!

Signs of Homesickness:

  1. Wanting to fly home and see your friends and family even though you are having a blast.
  2. Feeling achy and groggy without a whole lot of motivation to do anything.
  3. A sudden craving for just talking to your best friend from home but realizing you can't since they are asleep or in class.
  4. Loneliness since all of your new study abroad friends look like they are having the time of their lives and you just cried in your room for two hours.
  5. A trashcan that looks like this by the end of your first week:
 Homesickness sometimes results in a trashcan
of tissues and that is no big deal!

But regardless of all of that homesickness, you can get through it.

For me culture shock and homesickness were like a one-two punch to the gut. The weight of not being in the US for 110 days fell on top of me like a ton of bricks after roughly 84 hours of being in country, and I knew I just couldn't pack up and leave. So by the end of day 3 I was a hot mess of snot and tears trying to convince myself that studying abroad was my dream come true. Now don't get me wrong, it is awesome living in a new country and exploring everything this city has to offer, but adjusting to a new environment takes its toll on your mind and body. Homesickness for me was a series of thoughts like, "Oh what if I royally screwed this up" or "I should give up now and take the next flight home." But thankfully, there is a way to beat homesickness!

My 6 Homesickness Tips:

  1. Start talking. Just start word vomiting all over the place and get all of your words and emotions out of your head and into the real world. Once you know the problem, it's easier to ask for help.
  2. Find someone back home that you can talk to about anything on your mind no matter how silly. This worked really well for me since I was able to talk to my parents and friends who reminded me that four months really isn't that long, it is only 110 breakfasts.
  3. Talk to a professional. Yes, you heard that right, talk to someone who is specially trained in listening to people and finding solutions. I suggest a licensed counselor/therapist/psychologist in your city that also speaks English or your native tongue to remove the language barrier.
  4. Keep moving forward. Even if all you want to do is lay in bed all day and not move at all, force yourself to get out of the house and explore your new surroundings. That way you become more comfortable with the world around you and your part in it.
  5. Smile. Even if it's just a little smile at the sun peeking out from behind the clouds, find a reason to smile at least once a day.
  6. Relax. You are going on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and everything is going to be alright in the end!
 Even though your homesickness may be telling you that
staying inside is the best thing, take the opportunities to
go adventuring in your new hometown. You might surprise yourself
with how much you enjoy your new city!

Lisa Brice is the Fall 2015 CEA MOJO in the French Alps, France. She is currently a Junior at Baldwin Wallace University.

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