Remember when I said I didn’t think I was going to get homesick? Yeah, my advisors were right (who would’ve thought?) and I can feel the honeymoon phase coming to an end.
Let me tell you about the honeymoon phase first. It was amazing! I was so excited about everything that I would do everything anyone invited me to do. I was always out, surrounded by the kindest people, having the greatest of times. Everything was good and I overly-romanticized the most mundane things. Nothing has really changed in the sense that my surroundings are still the same. I am still in the same place, still having things to do, still being surrounded by lovely humans, so what has changed? My desire to engage.
I realized a couple of days ago that I am actually a student in Chile and not just an individual in Chile. I’m not saying I haven’t been going to class or doing my homework—I have been, I just haven’t been stressed about it until last week because I had two essays due on the same day (which is not a big deal, this is normal, but I was trying to pretend like I was on vacation because vacations are nicer than writing two essays [lol]). On top of having essays to write, I’ve noticed that my family and friends are doing fun things back home and I’ve begun to miss them, along with the comfort I receive from being around them all. This is why my desire to engage has dwindled. I just feel like doing nothing after I get my homework done. I just want to lay down, call my parents, and do nothing.
By saying this, I acknowledge that I’m not the first one to feel this way, which is why I have thought of a few things to do to when you’re feeling down in the dumps during your study abroad time.
I think walking is very therapeutic for most people especially when feeling sad. I have found that just walking around the neighborhood here is very calming. It just allows me to absorb the world I get to live in for a short period of my life, helping me get comfortable with being here. It also doesn’trequire a lot of energy, so I don’t feel like it’s too much of a chore when all I want to do is nothing.
Go to farmers markets
I have not done this yet but I plan on doing it tomorrow. I have always found comfort in going to farmers markets by myself just to watch people, wander, and/or to buy some fruit to later go eat at a park. Something simple. I really like doing this when I want to be around people but don’t want to talk to them. Does that make sense? Sometimes I just want to do nothing while being with my friends, but a lot of people find this boring if they’re not feeling the same as you are, so farmers markets are ideal for this.
Go to a park
This is kind of like going to a farmers market, but this just allows you to be able to do more productive things like reading, paint, make bracelets, homework–the list goes on! It just feels good to go outside and do things that don’t require much energy.
These are some things that I’m doing by myself this weekend. I would recommend you do these on your own too if you’re feeling homesick. The reason being that homesickness arises from being attached to people from home and while I think having valuable people in your life is important, I also think it’s also important to be comfortable by yourself and get used to your own solitude in order to get through some of the rough patches you undergo during study abroad.
I’ll talk to you next week,