On education in Europe and the USA

Clever Magazine
Universities Student life Kateryna Abgaryan Mental Health

Unspoken Realities: Homesickness Period

The article delves into the hidden realities of studying abroad, shedding light on the emotional challenges and homesickness period, aiming to provide genuine insights and foster cultural awareness among international students. It confronts the idealized portrayals in media and underscores the necessity of discussing the unspoken challenges of the international experience.
The Dream of moving and studying abroad, often depicted as an idealized student life overseas, is now being scrutinized for its cultural immersion and global citizenship aspects, thanks to resources like Clevermagazine. Today, there's a growing emphasis on revealing the less glamorous, yet studying abroad benefits, including the homesickness period. This article aims to offer genuine insights and foster a sense of unity among those navigating the challenges of studying abroad.
Undoubtedly, the journey of studying abroad is marked by new experiences and moments of absolute happiness: the initial days filled with anticipation, the thrill of new achievements, and the embrace of an entirely novel life. However, the emotional intelligence required to cope with loneliness becomes apparent when the overwhelming flow of positive emotions during the first weeks can lead to a shift in perception, where even calm moments may be mistakenly perceived as negative.
Life abroad isn't always a bed of roses; rather, it's a profound chapter of gaining independence, a crucial period of self-development and personal safety. Balancing academic responsibilities with the intricacies of daily life, financial literacy, and living independently in the face of multiple temptations is part of the transformative journey into adulthood. This abrupt transition from adolescence to adulthood causes a dissonance in our minds, as we grapple with the challenges of defining a system that works for this newfound 'adult' life. Questions about the future, the absence of family, long-time friends, familiar places, and the simple pleasures, like the taste of coffee from a favorite café, are very disconcerting. In the infinite “marathon” of keeping the past and constructing the future, the warmth and sincerity of loved ones—whether family, close friends, or the comforting familiarity of home—may be conspicuously absent.
The unspoken reality, drawn from personal experience, is that every international student confronts the homesickness period at some point, which can impact their emotional health. However, with developed skills to navigate these emotions and social support, we can prevent ourselves from succumbing to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Let's explore those tips that can help us navigate this collective experience and emerge stronger together.
The dissonance often arises when we resist the natural flow of events in our lives. To prevent this from escalating into heightened stress levels, it's essential to embrace change with a positive mindset. Acknowledge that you are not alone in facing these transitions and accept them as a normal part of life. Consider this phase as a challenge for self-development, like the ones we eagerly undertook in childhood. Focus on the positive aspects of this challenge and perceive it as an opportunity for personal growth. Reflect on the idea that challenges are not obstacles but rather stepping stones for personal development. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a powerful tool to reinforce this perspective by regularly acknowledging and appreciating the positive moments in your life.
Create connections with those around you, even if it seems challenging at first, and recognize the importance of empathy and making new friends. Recognise our shared humanity, as every individual, regardless of differences, has at least one commonality – feelings.
Engage in conversations about emotions; you'll be surprised at how people transform into sincere individuals, acknowledging their own shared experiences. This shared vulnerability becomes a bridge to understanding and acceptance, fostering social connections and a sense of normality in the shared human experience.
If you find yourself in a phase where connecting with new people seems challenging – don’t blame yourself. Understand that this period is an opportunity for personal growth. Focus on prioritising yourself, establishing discipline, and crafting your own routine.
Make use of the chance to participate in events that resonate with your interests, shaping your living experiences according to your aspirations rather than societal or familial expectations. Emphasise self-care to safeguard your physical and mental well-being. Incorporate regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment.
By navigating this period independently, you're not only fostering a resilient inner core but also laying the groundwork for future achievements. Embrace this time as a unique opportunity for self-discovery and the development of a strong foundation for your future endeavours.
Homesickness often accompanies us, even during moments of happiness. In line with the tips shared earlier, it's essential to maintain relationships by staying connected with those you miss. Regular communication provides much-needed comfort during challenging times, helping to overcome communication challenges. Surprisingly, distance can serve as a tool to bring you even closer to loved ones back home, fostering nostalgia for shared experiences. Through personal experience, it becomes apparent that physical separation can enhance emotional closeness. The miles between you and your loved ones may lead to a heightened appreciation for shared moments and time.
The comfort and warmth from close relationships are more deeply acknowledged when you're apart. Instead of viewing distance as a factor that estranges, consider it a powerful tool for fostering a stronger and more profound connection with those who hold a special place in your heart.
Studying abroad is a multifaceted journey, filled with highs and lows. Embrace the transition into adulthood, balance your past and future, and use these valuable tips to thrive during your international education adventure. It's crucial to discuss and share tips that foster resilience, ensuring that the academic challenges don't overshadow the extraordinary opportunities presented during this transformative phase of development. Remember, each challenge is an opportunity for personal and academic growth, paving the way for career advantages and the myriad advantages of studying abroad.