In all honesty, there will be times on your Year Abroad where you just want to curl up in a ball and teleport back to your nice comfy bed back home. There will be times when you find yourself hastily searching for flights, trains, ferries, Eurostars, anything to take you back home, to somewhere where you feel secure, organised, in control and, above all, at home. There will be times where you consider emailing your university and saying look, I just can’t do this (you can, by the way!). Finally, there will be times when you doubt your progress.
This moment came for me, the week where I simultaneously failed an exam on my Erasmus and said goodbye to my long distance boyfriend after a ten day vist. I genuinely can say I’ve never cried that much in my entire life. I looked around my unfamiliar apartment feeling more alone than I’d ever felt in my before. Fighting the urge to ring home as not to worry my parents and expecting some sort of sudden strengthening moment to motivate myself away from eating my feelings, I waited.
The truth is there’s not much that can make homesickness any easier. It is, at the end of the day one of the hardest emotions I have ever experienced and no cliché motivational advice will change that. People who encourage you to ‘keep busy’ are right; having lots to do and people around you does take your mind off any inner desire to be elsewhere. However, often the emotion of missing somewhere or someone disencourages us from being in a state where socialising is possible.
One thing I’ve learnt, is that time goes quickly. You can be sobbing over not seeing your family for six weeks and then, before you know it, you’ll be seeing them the next day. A positive attitude is key even though it seems impossible when you’re going through it. Finally, the old chestnut ‘everything will be alright in the morning’ is not entirely applicable but does sometimes do the trick. Everything seems better when it’s dark outside and when you’re tired. So sleeping on it, will help. Maybe I should start taking my own advice, hey?!