It Happens and It’s Okay: Homesickness and Anxiety

The last time I was homesick I was in elementary school on a week camping trip. I would literally cry everyday wanting to go back home.

The camp site had a rule that technology was not allowed, but because I would cry they allowed me to call my mom.

Since having that experience I would go weeks that turned into months of not seeing my family in person and be fine. But for some reason being abroad has made me feel like a little girl again.

When I hear somebody tell a joke my friends would get a kick out of or an interaction I see between people walking home, it will make me miss my family.

On top of that I deal with anxiety. There are good days and there are some bad days but lately those bad days have been hard to shake.

Back in the U.S. Ill go see a counselor bi-weekly, learning techniques to handle my anxiety and talk to my counselor about the things that are going on.

When you have anxiety your mind thinks of the worst, it rushes into the future without accounting the present. A lot of emotions come to you at once. 

Homesickness and anxiety mixed together is not a good cocktail. It can be something that is hard to shake. 

Things that can lessen the weight of these emotions:

Express Your Feelings To People

Talk to people that are in the ISA program or people you’ve met at school. When you express what you’re going through, you’ll see you’re not alone. Opening up and talking to people about what you are going through will help lift the burden. I guarantee you someone else is feeling the same as you.

Do What You Do At Home Abroad 

If you have a routine you do at home or at school try to incorporate the routine at the new country you’re in. At home and at school, if my emotions are overbearing me I have a routine. I go to the movies, I walk around my city, or go to an exhibit. Doing these things help me focus on something else. It allows my mind and body to take a deep breath and let it know it’s okay. 

Talk To A Counselor 

Lastly, you always have the option to talk to a counselor at your host university. As any counselor, they have heard people who are studying abroad go through the same thing as you. Speaking to someone and being allowed to speak freely without judgment or anything can really help you in shaking the bad feelings away. 

At the end of the day, studying abroad is an experience. Not only do you see the countries that are across the pond but you also explore the inner self and do things you’ve never done before. Sometimes it can come with pressure and anxiety. Talk about how you feel or gain a routine to better your experience abroad.



Remember to breathe and eat pasta

Sabryn McDonald is a student at North Carolina Central University and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Rome, Italy

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