The air’s getting colder, the first semester is coming to an end, and your flatmates are busy packing their bags for their trip home. As an international student, returning home for the Christmas break was not possible with the heightened COVID-19 restrictions. So, here I am in my almost empty flat pondering my plans for the next couple of weeks and the homesickness creeping in. But alas, homesickness has been coming and going in waves throughout the semester which is inevitable. Moving away from your family, your home, is hard but I wouldn’t change a single thing if I had the chance. So here are some of the ways that I found really helps with overcoming homesickness.
- Find things that remind you of home. This can come in many and any form. I usually go for food. Because not only is it easy to find, as Edinburgh is a melting pot with many restaurants that serve cuisines from all over the world, but sometimes it’s easy to make. I brought over some Indonesian spices to Edinburgh and was able to make some nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and it just brought me back home. So when you are packing your bags to come to Edinburgh do try to keep this in mind!
- Keep in touch with family and friends. The pandemic has brought out some amazing tools in the virtual world that allows us to easily connect with one another. So hop onto that zoom call with your friends from back home, FaceTime your family, have a Netflix party with you siblings! Touching base with home always brings me a sense of comfort and scares away that homesickness.
- Have a good community to fall back on. The friends that you make here, your personal tutor, societies (e.g. the Indonesian society), the university counselling service, or student run organisations like The Advice Place, these are all pillars in your community that can support you when homesickness becomes overwhelming. Because you never know, others might be feeling the same.
I hope these little things can help you overcome your homesickness, but I would like to end this blog post with a reminder that it does get better with time. Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday!