Friday 20 January 2017

I've always been pretty good at dealing with homesickness, maybe because it's now been 3 years since I left Gibraltar for university and have moved around a fair bit in that time. Or perhaps simply because with Whatsapp, FaceTime and even Zello, it never really feels like I'm that far away, I can imagine it would have been a lot worse if the only means of communication I had with my friends and family back home was through pigeon post. I know some of my friends suffer more and are constantly counting down the days to go home, so here's a little list for growing a pair and dealing with it. 

1. Don't spend too much time in your bedroom. If you're more of an introvert, it might seem easier to build your little bubble and isolate yourself from everyone, but this will only give you more time to dwell on things. Even if it means sitting in your living room/kitchen and having a conversation with your housemates whilst they cook, it helps the situation. If you're living in a city filled with people you know from home, I've always said it's important to make sure they're not your only friends because as nice as having someone from home with you is, there'll come a point where you'll be on your own and you won't know how to deal with it/be independent.

2. Keep in touch, but don't overdo it. I usually ring my mum a few times a week when I'm walking home from uni (to keep me entertained), and the Whatsapp conversations with friends and family are just never ending. I think if you're communicating with people at home more than you are with people around you, you're just going to feel the distance even more - unless you're in a LDR, then I guess that's kind of necessary. 

3. Explore what your new city has to offer. I kind of regret spending my first two weeks alone in Florida just sat by the pool, because it was in my comfort zone. I had the time of my life but it wasn't until the last 2 months that I started making the most of where I was because realistically, I won't have the opportunity to again. 

4. Be realistic. There are days where you're going to feel low and want to get a train/fly home because you hate everything and have had a fallout with your housemates, but if you did this every time something went wrong how are you going to cope when things actually get tough and you can't just drop everything and leave? If it gets to this then you should have a list of 'things that make me feel better when I'm feeling crappy/missing home' to do. For ideas check out a previous blog post here

5. Bring home comforts with you. I have a friend who has had a ratty panda stuffed toy since she was like two and brings that with her everywhere, in my case my grandmother always insists on me bringing 6kg worth of homemade food with me in my suitcase to leave in my freezer for when its 'cold and I need a warm plate of minestra'. Even just cooking home cooked foods makes me feel like I have my life together and then I don't have to wait 4 months to eat a plate of Rosto again. 

6. Talk about it. If you're feeling really homesick, everyone else at university is pretty much in the same boat so voice your problems with your friends. A problem always seems smaller when you're not the only one going through it. 

7. Visit friends. There's nothing like a good get together over tequila and a night out with your friends from home in your new city. Sadly I don't think I'll see the day when all my friends from home will be in Bournemouth for a night out but I know that if I need to speak gibberish and feel at home some of my friends are just an hour away. Unless your name is Mariah or Joanna then I won't be coming to the north of Wales to see you. 

8. Find a new hobby/keep fit. Whenever I head back to uni, I always say to myself 'I can't wait to go back for summer and look all fit in a bikini', sadly three years on and I'm still the same pizza eating-vodka drinking potato. If you have the motivation, having something to work on, or a goal to fulfil before going home keeps you busy and makes your time more worthwhile. 

9. Don't dwell on where you'd rather be. This is actually something I heard in the movie Passengers yesterday. Basically there's no point thinking about how much is sucks to be where you are because it's out of your control, instead try and make the most of it instead of wishing your days away, after all time is precious. 

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend guys! 

♡ GS ♡

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