I am a true to heart Momma’s girl, I’ve only grown closer with my brother as we’ve gotten older, and I recently reconnected with my sister and niece.
As the time for me to leave home and move to South Korea grew closer, I started feeling the emotional impact of moving and homesickness started setting in before I had even left home.
But there are a few things I’ve learned from the many break away points I’ve had with my home in pursuit of other life goals. Here’s how I have learned to cope with homesickness.
I first left home at 18 to move away to college. Then after 4 years of back and forth, mostly at school, I lived at home for 8 months before moving to Korea. After a year in SoKo, I moved home for a year and here I am moving away again.
When I left home for the first time, I was a total mess. I couldn’t sleep and I spent about the first month wondering why I had to leave and if it was possible to just go home again.
But I made it, I loved it, I eventually felt at home.
What really helps me to deal is:
- Keeping busy. Seriously, I will pack the first week to the first month full of events and activities. College was easy because there were a ton of orientation activities, I have to work a lot harder now. I have training during the week, and the awkwardness of living with my boss and her family, but I’m making a ton of plans to keep my weekends full so that there is just no time to think too hard.
- Making the bed your bed. It sounds silly, but I love to take a pillowcase or a stuffed animal or something that I keep in my bed to make falling asleep easier. I have a hard time sleeping in places that are not my own bed, but having something that smells and/or feels like home when I go to bed helps me to shift my mindset into accepting this new place as my new home.
- Keeping habits. If you have a good, healthy habit that you started at home, try to keep up with it. I have yogurt or cereal for breakfast frequently, and I definitely kept that up even after moving to Korea because it’s a taste of home. Also, keeping up with exercise like running or joining a gym is important because it keeps up physical and mental health. Keeping your body busy with familiar habits can help you adjust to an otherwise foreign environment.
- Socialize. Do not allow yourself to be that person that goes back to their room everyday and never goes out and talks to people. Meeting new people can be hard, but by putting yourself out there you can create a support group that helps you when those waves of homesickness come on once the initial settlement period has passed.
And that brings me to my final note – homesickness can be hardest when you first arrive to a new place. But it doesn’t just go away after a month or so and you never feel it again. I lived at my university for the majority of 4 years, just a few short visits home in the summer.
All that time, I would still get waves of homesickness for my family. Even though, when I was with my family, I would get homesick for school and the friends I had there.
Being homesick is just a sign that you have something special waiting somewhere else. Since I turned 18 I’ve learned to really embrace the feeling. I know it’s because I have a place I can be really comfortable in.
Do you get homesick? How do you deal with it?