Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Truth About Homesickness

Homesickness is something every student at university who has moved away from home for the first time has to deal with it. It's an awful feeling that has no remedy except eating masses of junk food and counting down the days until your next visit home. I'd say phone family or friends for a chat but for me that makes it worse. 

The only problem with homesickness is it's got a stigma attached that only whiny little children at their first sleepover should suffer from it, and that it's embarrassing or something. But I guarantee every single person feels it at one time or another when they move from home.  Even if they've moved from home to escape, there are still certain good memories or things like not having to buy food, experiencing the warmth of a central heated house, the comfort you always have knowing there's good company in the house to chat with or watch TV with, that you just won't get anywhere else. That confident, outgoing, constantly happy and loud person you see around uni all the time? They'll occasionally go home and probably cry because they miss their parents so much and wonder why they moved away in the first place. But you moved to experience new things, meet new people that aren't your usual group of friends, get perspectives you wouldn't have stuck in the same city, learn some things about yourself, push yourself to get some new life skills and explore a completely new place to where you're used to.

It's hard moving from home, but people seem to find it even harder talking about homesickness. It's considered a kind of private thing, like you're completely sure you're the only one who has EVER felt so low or missed their parents/siblings/grandparents/friends as much as you. But it's not true! If you talk to your house mates they'll feel exactly the same. Those nights of staying holed up in your bedroom, watching hours of films alone and having no one to talk to wear you down eventually. It's just natural. This is one of those cases where a problem shared really is a problem halved. If you know you're surrounded by house mates that have the same feeling then you can help each other by doing more things together or trying to recreate home in cheap ways to lift each other's spirits. If being away from home teaches you one thing, it's that you end up really appreciating it. You might have moved away thinking your city was the worst but every time you go back you're glad to see the graffiti-lined walls and chewing gum stained paths. 

So just remember, you're never alone. There are people around you all feeling the same emotions you are. If you don't have house mates then you're not alone in the way of being just one of thousands of people all feeling homesick.