Battling Homesickness Halfway Across the World

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It’s been about a month since I last posted anything. The reason why? I originally had planned to document my experience traveling and adjusting to the UK as each day passed, but the first week was pretty rough. After I initially left home, I had no desire to share because I suddently felt unsure about the decision to come here. But my outlook is currently more positive in regards to the present and future. The emotional rollercoaster ride that brought me here has become a part of my healthy living journey and I’m at a place where I would like to share my experience.

I’ve been here to to the UK to study before, previously for a shorter period of time, but have never experienced the overwhelmingly gut-wrenching homesickness that I felt during the first week after arriving this time. Even though I’m quite lucky and have family that lives about a 40 minutes drive away from my current university, I still felt really out of place. I know that other students also feel this way when they go abroad to study, but if I’m honest, I never thought I’d feel this way. So when it did happen, I was unprepared for it.

The sadness and feelings of displacement really hit me during the first few days that I was in the halls (aka dorms). I kept questioning whether I could really live here for an entire year. What if the course I’ve chosen turns out to be nothing like I expect or what if I can’t accustom myself to the different style of teaching and learning here? The first night in the hall was especially hard. I forced myself to start unpacking right away just to make the room more homey and cheerful. It was better than sitting and lingering on unhappy thoughts.

Thankfully my mom was always available via Skype to calm me down – she knew exactly what to say. What I appreciated the most was the fact that she kept telling me that even though I was here, the door wasn’t closed and that if it really wasn’t what I wanted, then I could always come back. But I needed to at least start the course and give it a chance because if I didn’t, I’d regret not giving it a go later. While classes haven’t started yet, I feel better equipped, mentally and emotionally, to take on the new course, work and level of studying. And I’m going to work extremely hard to take advantage of all of the opportunities available here in London.

Right now, my biggest concern in regards to health is what I’m eating. After being pretty shocked at the small size of my flat’s kitchen (to be shared amongst 6 people with only one tiny refrigerator!), I didn’t want to cook. At all. So I’ve been going out for food and snacks.  But I really do love to whip up healthy meals. It’s just going to take some time to get into a routine and learn how to function within the new space, but I definitely want to meal prep. It’ll save me time during the hectic weeks and hopefully will mean fewer dishes to wash each day.

If there’s anyone out there who’s abroad studying, whether undergrad or postgrad, and feeling homesick, take comfort in knowing that almost everyone who goes abroad or faraway from home feels homesick at some point but it does pass and gets easier. Just stay busy and try to make yourself comfortable where you are.

That’s all for now. Hope all you bloggers, writers and readers are having a great weekend!

~The Healthy Lioness

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