DISCLAIMER: This one is wordy, but definitely worth the read!!!
Studying abroad homesickness is very different than any other homesickness I’ve felt. Of course I’ve left my parents behind plenty of times, but each time the feelings of doing so have felt vastly different. I remember the first time I felt homesick was when my mother sent me to this god awful Girl Scout sleep-away camp where ya girl had to sleep in a literal TENT….OUTSIDE! It was terrible and I just remember missing home and my mom so much because, what the heck! That situation would’ve never happened had I been at home and it was just ridiculous! But let it be known I went to plenty of other sleep-away camps and never felt homesick at all! In my opinion I think the combination of being in a new place and having things go wrong is lethal. It will send you into a horrible spiral of sadness and tears. C’mon, we’ve all had the experience of being in a new place by ourselves and it’s just not going how we planned or expected it to and then 1 little thing happens, like we trip on the sidewalk or step in a puddle and we totally lose it and it turns into a flood of tears, fury and sadness. The moral of my story is that the little things matter when we’re scared and alone, and with that being said I haven’t felt homesick like this since my freshman year of college.
It’s important to realize that study abroad homesickness is an experience unlike any other. No 2 people experience it in the same way. I probably spent the first week here begging my mom to visit during spring break because I didn’t think I could make it the whole time without seeing her! I think personally the worst part about it is the fact that because you’re studying abroad it’s almost like you’re not allowed to feel homesick, and that sucks. I want to explain how sad and how different it is, but the only responses I get are “I understand Troi, but you’re so lucky you even get to experience this.” Like, okay, thank you, I’m well aware of that, but that doesn’t change how I feel. Just because I’m very lucky to be on this journey doesn’t negate how it’s making me feel. My low-point was when I was shopping at TopShop and heard Party by Beyoncé. It gave me all the feels in the world to want to hop on a plane and head back to America. It got worse when I went to a coffee spot afterward to do some reading and couldn’t read because I was trying to choke back tears. It’s actually hard for me to write this post because it even makes me sad talking about homesickness! Though my homesickness was soothed when I had my first fish and chips experience with a pal from high school who was visiting London for the weekend! It was so refreshing to see a familiar face.
And if there’s anything I’ve learned from being an RA it’s that when you’re feeling your worst you’ve got to make sure you don’t fall into the hole of sadness. So I stayed at that coffee shop and I fought through tears and I read my readings because if I fall into sadness then sadness wins and I refuse to let sadness win. I refuse to let any negative thoughts taint this wonderfully scary journey I’m on. So, here’s to anybody that’s stepped out of their comfort zone and thought they made a mistake doing so. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so here I am life!