Monday, 7 September 2015

Top Seven Ways to Combat the Homesickness That WILL Set In

Don’t doubt us, we’re experts.

We all know that immediate feeling of freedom (“I’m in EUROPE and AWAY from my FAMILY!”) and right now, we’re all riding on that glorious high. But soon, we will all come crashing down in a blazing glory of realization (“I’m in EUROPE and AWAY from my FAMILY!”). So here are some tips to help ease the inevitable fall of homesickness we all succumb to eventually (We’re looking at you, yes you.)

1. Make your room feel like home.

We know this seems basic, but adding a touch of familiarity to your room can go a long way in fighting against homesickness. Something as simple as a collection of photographs, or letters from home can help ease pain and promote feelings of happiness. And if you don’t have these things at your disposal, buy something at PoundLand that makes you smile—such as that photo of One Direction you’ve been eyeing, or even just the calendar full of cute puppies/baby animals. And if you want to be REALLY cheap, write favorite quotes on a piece of notebook paper and stick them on your bulletin board. Seriously guys, it’s that simple.

2. Talk to your family

COMMUNICATION IS KEY. We know it kills your vibe to be calling Mom instead of going to the Goose, but even just a ten minute conversation will really help both you and the family member across the pond adjust to the major move to Harlaxton. On the flip-side, don’t become that person who talks to their family on the screen more than to their family in real life (cough your fellow homesick students cough). To quote a favorite Wildcat, “We’re all in this together.” So, to sum it up, find the right balance between screen time and face time.

3. Settle into a routine

We all remember the awful first days of living at Harlaxton and living hour by hour out of a little packet; do yourself a favor and don’t do that. Setting a routine can reduce stress significantly and can help to make a strange situation feel more familiar. Traveling constantly won’t help the whole routine thing, but when at home base (Harlaxton) try to find a steady schedule that works during the weekdays.

4. Exercise!

It stinks, yes, and we are not all exercise junkies (us authors included), but exercising releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands! (Thank you, Elle Woods.) But seriously, it can be something as simple as walking around this glorious campus or as hardcore as a workout in the gym. Whatever works for you— just make sure you get moving!

5. Get some “Me” time

Getting some time to yourself is important for your mental health, whether you’re living at home, on your normal college campus or, you know, Hogwarts. And by “Me” time, we don’t mean time by yourself doing homework— we mean take time to chill and do something relaxing, like reading a (non-school) book, knitting, or exploring the gardens. Whatever it is for you, just make sure you do it… for your sake and all of ours.

6. Spend some time with the locals

With convenient shuttles departing Harlaxton at hour intervals, you really have no excuse to not explore the charming town of Grantham. And not only is exploring shops like PoundLand a magical experience, it can also help ease your homesickness by slowly introducing you to local culture. It’s important to escape the little American bubble we’ve created at Harlaxton, and while it’s nice to come back to the ‘Home of the Free’ capital of Grantham, it’s important to dip your toes into the local scene and feel connected while abroad. Having some roots here locally will help ease the pain of having your home roots so far away—and you may meet a cute native while you’re at it ;) .

7. Know it’s going to happen…

…but don’t fear it too much. Homesickness is a natural mixture of emotions that most of us mortal beings can’t escape. To put it into layman’s terms, homesickness is like British Studies. As much as you wish to avoid it, unless you want to be deported because of Visa requirements, you can’t! All jokes aside, homesickness is a real issue that hits almost everybody—and everybody eventually has to deal with it in their own way.

Hopefully, these seven tips will help make the transition a little easier and your experience more “I’m in EUROPE and AWAY from my FAMILY!” rather than “I’m in EUROPE and AWAY from my FAMILY!”

An & Chels

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