Felt like ordering a dessert after celebrating your parents’ anniversary over a video call? Ever been excited about a product or a store you vaguely related to one from your home country? Ever tried calling your family or best friends, back home, only to realise that they are in a different time zone?
These are the little things in which you find a sort of solace and comfort when studying abroad.
While homesickness is normal, it’s crucial to notice if these situations also emote feelings of despair, longing, melancholy, distress and alienation. Preoccupying thoughts of attachment towards home or special persons could be a cognitive indication of homesickness.
While mental health is a perennial challenge and a subject of great concern and study, the increasing destigmatization across various multicultural societies, has led to early and appropriate intervention. Larger frequencies of mental health problems such as homesickness and anxiety have been found in tertiary-level, international students, as against the general population. Global universities across the world have built mental wellness centres for the wellbeing of international students.
This form of anxiety is consistently found among students of the age groups 18 years to 24 years. Unfamiliar environments, language barriers, social expectations, culture shock, weather, new routine, food, crises in home country, holidays - these are some of the more common factors that can lead to homesickness.
Homesickness does not necessarily arise from the melancholy and the blues of being away from home, but a result of being in a foreign environment, outside of your comfort zone. Homesickness can range from low-level homesickness to severe homesickness.
But here are some hacks to overcome homesickness.