Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Beating homesickness



I know for a fact that being homesick can ruin experiences like college. For my first two years in university I didn't get that home sick. I'd look forward to going home, but it wasn't a problem. Plus, I go home most weekends unless there's a fieldtrip or something which was very rare.
In my third year however, due to stomach problems and anxiety, and just missing my dog and family, I got sooo homesick it was ridiculous. Being homesick made my anxiety and stomach even worse, and being more anxious and ill made me even more homesick. It was a continuous circle and basically ruined my college year. It stopped me from doing all kinds of things. I didn't want to go anywhere and all I could think about was how much I wanted to be at home.
So now that I've had the Summer at home and I understand my anxiety and stomach problems much more, I've decided that I'm going to do all I can to prevent myself getting too homesick.



Here's a few things I'm trying out that I'm hoping will work:

I'm going to make my bedroom look cosy and personal. For the last two years that I lived in my apartment, it was like I didn't want to commit to living there. I didn't think of it as a home, just a place I stayed for five days of the week. I thought it was a waste to really decorate my bedroom, so it was pretty bare and wasn't very inviting. So this time, I'm going to make it my own. I've got a multi-picture frame that I'm going to put on my wall with pictures of my family, friends and pets so that it doesn't feel like they're that far away. I also got a few pictures to hang up around my room so that the walls don't look so bare. I'm going to get a cactus or some sort of plant as well, to put on my window sill. Basically just give my room more homely touches. That way I can start thinking of it as my home and I'm hoping, will reduce how homesick I get.

I'm going to put a lot more effort into college itself. Go to all lectures. Well, it's my final year so there is only four hours of lectures a week. Much more emphasis is put on self study and we're being given so much to do so I'm also planning on going to the library a lot. We were advised to study 9-5 so that is the aim! Time spent working in the library is time not spent on missing home.

I want to start exercising this year. Usually after a day in college, I'd go to my apartment and sit on the couch on my laptop or staring at the tv, but not really doing anything. I'm such a lazy person and rarely get off my arse. My college has a great gym which has lots of classes, so I've decided to go to a yoga class once or twice a week. This is something to keep me occupied and everyone says it's good for anxiety so that's a bonus. My college town is such a lovely place but I don't make the most of it, so now in the evenings I'd like to start going for walks. I'm meant to go for a walk after dinner anyway for my stomach. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health, so it's time I started.

I want to do more activities with my college friends too. I don't like going out to nightclubs like I used to, because again, alcohol ruins my stomach and I get quite anxious; I'm hoping you see the pattern here... Because of this, I miss out a lot when my friends go out. But surely there must be other things to do; cinema, bowling, shopping, hanging out. So this year there will be plenty of that.

Finally, blog more. That's why I started this blog in the first place, to have something to do in my spare time. And believe me, I've plenty of spare time. Other people seem to have hobbies and things but not me. Except for reading and watching Youtube videos. Yano that part on your CV where you list your interests and hobbies? You can imagine how pathetic mine looks! I spend more time trying to think up hobbies I can stick down, than I do writing out the whole rest of my CV. Blogging is my new hobby and although I've only started, I am really enjoying it.

My plan is basically to be much more busy this year. Then, I shouldn't have so much spare time to be worrying and missing my family. My mind is my main problem, so the less time I have to sit and dwell, the better. Five days isn't even a long time, so hopefully this year it will go a bit quicker.. because when you're homesick time seems to slow to a crawl. I'm pretty optimistic - for the moment anyway - that all of this will work. I'll keep you posted.

I'd love if anyone would like to include any other tips or activities that work for them :)

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