For those of you struggling through your semester as you miss being home, I hear ya. I went to university in England and around this point in the semester I really started missing being at home because the holidays were just beginning.
As soon as Halloween passed, Christmas stuff started showing up in all the shops (Thanksgiving isn’t a thing celebrated over there, imagine that) and it just felt weird not being home for those weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I did find that a couple of things made the homesickness bearable, and I’m happy to pass those on to you.
Don’t isolate yourself
My natural tendency when I was feeling sad and homesick was to stay in my room on my own, but I actually found it super helpful and comforting to spend time with my friends despite this. I promise it’s completely understandable, and your friends won’t be offended if you just say that you’re missing home right now. They’ll probably give you extra hugs and get you some emergency ice cream.
Write a letter home
I mean you could send a text but come on letters are so much cooler. Everyone loves being told they are missed, so there’s no harm in sending a note that says so. Your mom would probably love to hear that her cooking is missed, and your sister would love knowing you’re thinking about her wherever you are. If you love someone, tell them. And if you miss them, say so.
Order a pizza
I found pizza quickly became a comfort food for me overseas because it was familiar and super delicious. Sometimes when you’re feeling sad the last thing you want to do is deal with making dinner, so consider this your reason to have pizza delivered to your door this week. (I’m literally handing you an excuse to have pizza in bed without feeling guilty. Like this is a perfect reason. Make a hot chocolate and order the garlic bread too. Go crazy.)
Watch a favorite movie
Now that you’ve got your comfort food, I recommend watching a movie or tv show that you like watching at home. It will make home not feel so far away. Invite your friends to join you (see point number one). It can turn a lonely night into one filled with laughter.
Set up Skype
Video calling is a phenomenal invention. Use it yall. Seeing the faces of the people you miss is ten times better than just hearing their voice over the phone. Who knows, the family golden retriever might sneak her way into the camera view as well. (‘Cause I totally missed her too.) I would say the main downfall of video calls is that you can’t transfer a hug through the screen, but it’s still better than a phone call. At least you can see their face right? Warning, every time you hang up the call, you might suddenly be inspired to invent a teleportation device.
Don’t forget to be thankful for where God’s placed you right now
It’s 100% okay to miss home. Just be mindful that the emotions involved don’t become the lens through which you look at everything in your life. Don’t let where you want to be in the future cause you to waste the opportunities present where you are today (see Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Getting Your Life Together). This could lead to discontent and bitterness and that’s not how I wanted to spend my days, and I know that you don’t either. God has led you to your campus for a reason. It’s easier to be away from home if we know that we’re giving God our everything and letting him use us to accomplish great things while we are away.
Keep in mind you will one day look back and wish to be where you are now
As soon as you leave your campus, you might realize you miss being there too. I quickly discovered that no matter what side of the ocean I was on, I missed something and someone. If I was in Portsmouth I missed my family, my boyfriend, driving, Target, and American pancakes. If I was home I missed the friends I made in England, riding on trains, my favorite coffee shop to study in on the seaside, Accessorize, amazing chocolate, and the wonderful church I was a part of there. So even if you are missing home like crazy, try to appreciate little things on your campus that you might not necessarily be around at home. You might go home and find you miss that loads too.