There comes a point in every young person’s life when we have to leave home, be it for school, work, or a general change in scenery. At 18-years-old, I left my family home in Atlanta, Georgia in pursuit of a university education in Los Angeles, California.

It was my first experience living away from home, and though I spent my first semester of uni in awe of the freedom and liberty that came with living somewhere other than under my parents’ roof, I found myself battling extreme homesickness in my second semester.

I tried to ignore it. I tried to shove it under the rug and pretend it didn’t exist, but that only worked for so long. At some point, my homesickness overtook everything I did; it felt like I did not exist outside of how much I missed my family, my old bedroom, and home-cooked food.

As I’ve been in uni for almost three years, I now feel fairly well-equipped to handle homesickness. Below are my top tips for how to fight through the weightiness of missing home.

Allow yourself to feel homesick.

I always used to feel like homesickness was something I had to hide. But I think the first step to overcoming any sort of emotion is validating it. When you allow yourself to feel something, you are that much closer to pushing through it.

Call/text/Facetime your loved ones.

Sometimes, the best feeling is hearing my parents’ voice. There’s a fine line here though; spending hours on the phone with your loved ones every day may make you feel more homesick than you already are. It’s important to find a balance between checking in with your loved ones and immersing yourself in your new environment.

Indulge yourself.

When you’re sad, there’s often nothing that feels better than giving yourself what you want. A day out shopping? A night in binging your new favourite Netflix show? Breakfast for dinner? Do it all. There’s no better time to be nice to yourself than when you’re sad.

Surround yourself with your loved ones away from home.

A lot of my friends from uni are out-of-state students like me and we all understand how it feels to not be able to see your family until a major holiday. Surrounding yourself with your loved ones away from home is a good way to distract yourself, and a good way to remind you that even though your homesickness may make you feel lonely, you’re never truly alone.

Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

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