Cop­ing with home­sick­ness

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SINGAPORE EDUCATION -

WHEN you go to col­lege, you may only be a few miles away, and in your own coun­try, but home­sick­ness can still strike.

It’s a weird feel­ing, very un­set­tling and it can stop you from get­ting to grips with your study course. Here are some ideas to get over it.

Know what’s go­ing on

Home­sick­ness is a stress re­ac­tion that comes from be­ing in an un­fa­mil­iar place. You are anx­ious and de­pressed be­cause ev­ery­thing is new: the place, the peo­ple and the rou­tine. So you pine for the fa­mil­iar rou­tine of home and friends – even that aw­ful un­cle and dif­fi­cult aunt.

Recog­nise it’s tem­po­rary

It feels like you won’t ever be happy again, but that’s part of the de­pres­sion that comes from the stress of change. Home­sick­ness goes away as soon as you start to make friends and adapt to the new rou­tine.

Go out and min­gle

The best way to adapt is to make new con­nec­tions. That means go­ing to class and talk­ing to the per­son next to you ( although not in the mid­dle of the lec­ture) and join­ing a club so you can meet peo­ple who love what you love.

Recog­nise they’re all feel­ing it

The peo­ple around you are prob­a­bly feel­ing just as home­sick as you are. Some will show it, some won’t, but feel­ing dis­ori­ented in a new place is very com­mon. So know that you’re not alone.

Stay off so­cial me­dia

See­ing ev­ery­thing back home hasn’t changed is just bru­tal. So switch off the phone and connect with real peo­ple around you. You need to make a new home, and you can’t do that over the phone.

Give it time

It will take a cou­ple of weeks be­fore you set­tle in. If af­ter a fort­night you’re still feel­ing aw­ful, see a coun­sel­lor. All col­leges have them and they’re all fa­mil­iar with home­sick­ness.

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