You’re scrolling through the endless memes you see on Facebook, when you come across one that you’ve just got to share with your best friend. Then you realize…she’s thousands of miles away. Or maybe with the holidays around the corner, you’re getting a little melancholy thinking of the family traditions you’re not there to participate in this year. 

Regardless of how far away from home you are, whether your house is only a couple miles away or across the ocean, you can be homesick anywhere. 

So how do you get over that feeling of missing loved ones and familiar routines? 

1. Know you’re not alone. Although homesickness is rarely discussed, it’s a common issue that many experience.

While attending university, I was suddenly hit by a bout of homesickness that left my heart feeling hollow. I missed my best friend who I’ve known for nine years and had seen almost every day since we met. Trying to seek comfort, I reached out to one of my college friends, who to my surprise, also said she had been feeling homesick the day before. 

The excitement of being in a new place might distract you for the first couple of days, but there comes a time when you realize that you’re in a totally different environment. Enter homesickness. It’s not a sign of weakness. Everyone comes across it eventually; for some people it might be when they first move, for others it could be months or years later.

2. Get out and do something. It’s okay to feel sad and let yourself feel homesick for a day. However, getting caught up in the feeling for too long will only make it harder to snap out of it. 

3. Go out with friends, explore the new city, join a club. Do something that takes your mind off homesickness and makes you happy. As you make more friends and relationships in your new environment, those new surroundings will start feeling more like home. In fact, once you do go home, you might start missing the newer connections you have built.

Connect with home. Bring something that reminds you of home to where you’re living now. This will make your new environment seem a little bit more like home to you. Make calls to your family, a best friend, or other loved ones at home. However, don’t call too much. Calling frequently might remind you of the distance and aggravate your homesickness.  

Focus on being positive and remember that change can be hard at first. Every experience starts with a step and you should be proud you’ve already taken that first one.

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Yu-Pei Ho
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