So, let’s talk about homesickness. I’ve been hearing from some of my colleagues in the program that these most recent couple of weeks since fall break have been slightly challenging due to a bit of homesickness, and to be honest, I was feeling it too. Over break, my mom came to visit as did many family members of other students in the program, and the thing we can all agree on is that it was hard to say goodbye. Many of us traveled to other countries with inhabitants whose native language is English or traveled to countries where citizens spoke more English — making that transition back was hard as well. And some of my friends went to the countries that were home to their family’s history and nationality. Having those experiences was great and incredible and making the adjustment back was a bit harder than the rest of us realized.
All of a sudden we were missing brunch (particularly pancakes), an actual fall, blankets and fireplaces and sports (Congrats, Cubs!), iced beverages, and all of the things/people we can find in our hometowns and cities. It wasn’t that we didn’t miss them before, it’s that we were missing them a lot more now. I can say that personally, it was weird and I didn’t like it, or better, I felt a bit guilty for it. Here I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I want to go back to Vienna and stay with my mom for a couple days, or am wondering what it would be like to come back home. I also felt the awareness of this weird stigma about homesickness, one that made it out to be something weaker people felt. But the reality is: we (as in my fellow Temple Rome students) are all bound to feel it at some point.
I think the best thing you can do is let yourself feel it and let it pass, be honest about it and talk to your friends because the odds are that you are not the only one feeling this way at least to some extent. And even your family would understand, so it may help to talk to them about it. But, it’s also nice to remind yourself of the beauty that surrounds you and the home you can find in your new environment (even if it’s not what you have at home).
As time goes on, the urge to be home will most likely pass and everything will return back to normal. This doesn’t mean you won’t miss anything, but that you’ll miss it casually as you most likely did before (except pancakes, I would sell a kidney for some IHOP right about now), but just remember that it’s a part of the natural process and it’s not worth stressing over. Everything will be fine and you’ll be back home in no time…most likely wishing you were back abroad haha!