“There’s no place like home,” Three Tips to Handle Homesickness in the UK
Being homesick while living away from home is a natural feeling. It is ok to miss things from your home country such as your friends, family, your favourite restaurants and even being on the same time zone as everyone.
When you first arrive to the UK, everything is new and exciting. However, there are going to be times when you miss home a lot, there are going to be times when you ask yourself “what am I doing here? I just want to go home.” Ignore this voice and do not let it hold you back from what could potentially be the best years of your life so far and furthering your education. While being away for the past 3 months, I have come up with three important tips for handling homesickness while studying abroad.
Phones and computers have made communicating back home really easy. Skype and WhatsApp video calls have been a lifesaver when it comes to seeing my family in Toronto. Of course the 5-hour time difference is difficult to adjust to- I recommend calling them before you sleep, as most of your family and friends will be getting home from work or school around this time. Even a simple five-minute conversation can make all the difference in your mood and put a smile on your face. It is important to not feel like you are bothering anyone back home and call whenever you can! The truth is they miss you just as much as you miss them. Another thing that may help is if you bring family and friend photos with you to hang on your walls or desk. Also, traveling back home for Christmas is something I would recommend anyone to do if they are able to as a reminder of the love and support of their loved ones.
- EAT PRAY LOVE
“No new friends,” is a common phrase I heard from my childhood friends before coming here. All joking aside, it is important to make new friends in the UK. They will be your support group when you need them the most. It is important to not feel like a visitor in this country, but rather to make it your new home for the next couple of years. That includes making a circle of friends like you have back home whom you do everything with from studying to traveling and even partying. I found myself at times feeling really depressed and wanting to go back home. But I remembered my friends in the UK are going through the exact same thing as I am. I talked to them about this and we were able to cheer one another up. I went on a couple of road trips with my friend who is from the UK, which reminded me that it is trips like those that I will remember forever and miss one day. So, my advice to you is stay focused while taking moments for yourself. Stop sometimes and look around. Eat something delicious slowly…and enjoy every bite! Make friendships and bonds that maybe you wouldn’t normally make. Let the UK teach you more than what you know from back home. Listen…listen to people when they speak and know that not everyone deserves your response. Listen to music when you miss home and are bummed out. And most importantly, listen to your intuition because it has brought you this far.
- REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE FOR BEING HERE!
This is the most important tip I have for dealing with homesickness. It is to remember why you are here in the first place. You are a smart cookie and lead a great example to all of your friends and family. To be honest, you most likely will miss it four years from now. You will look back and miss the little café you will find where you always picked up a blueberry scone…or the drinks that they only sell there (oh wait that’s me). You will miss cramming for exams with your friends in the library and study room. Don’t be afraid to make the UK your home for the next few years and embrace it. Nothing has changed back home- your friends and family are still doing the exact same things they would be doing if you were there. So, when you have that terrifying thought about packing all your bags and returning home, ignore that voice and give everyone a good show while you are here.