Every college student's been there. You get settled in your new home away from home ready for 3-4 years of friends, adventure and the best part...living on your own. Two weeks in and you realize this is better than anything you could have imagined, but then three months pass and suddenly all you can think about mom’s homemade stuffing. Thankfully Thanksgiving break is around the corner so your homesickness doesn’t even have time to set in before you’re saying "pass the gravy". But if you’re an International student you may have to wait a bit longer.
As you could probably guess living 3,000 miles away from your family includes inevidentable missed holidays as you’re adjusting to life in a new country. But it doesn’t stop there. Being an international student means you are consistently thrown into new experiences that you’ll want to share immediately with your family (“Mom, answer!!!! I just saw the Queen drive by!! Pick up!!!!) but then you remember it’s 3am and even Lizzie won’t wake anyone up at this hour.
Over the past three years, this has been my reality. But luckily I’ve been able to use these tips to make me feel like my family is always there, even across the pond.
1. FACETIME, FACETIME, FACETIME
The digital age has made it easier than ever to keep in contact with our loved ones. What started off as a bypass method to International calling (which is crazy expensive, so avoid at all means necessary) turned into a weekly routine of facetiming my sisters over getting ready, my mom while cooking dinner or going to restaurants, or my dad over a library sesh. Doing these activities with them as strange as it sounds makes it feel like they’re with me at all times.
2) SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s funny because high school I would NEVER add my family on social media, but now they all (forcibly) have my post notifications on. As simple as it sounds getting to see somewhere I’ve been that day through a picture or video I post has truly makes their day by getting to see what my life is like abroad in real time. That said social media can be a really cool tool in keeping your family connected through things like group messages, and memes, always share memes.
3) GO HOME
Even with my homesickness remedies the truth is nothing truly beats seeing your loved ones. I think the best way to describe it is in the saying “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. Since I don’t see them as often now anytime I spend with my family is extremely positive and full of cherished moments, which makes it all the more special. At the end of the day deciding to move to London was one of the best decisions I could have made for my life, but the support of my family has meant everything in my journey. Even in my homesickness with thanks to the digital age, I feel more connected to them than ever, and getting to share my life with them in real time makes me feel like I’m never too far off from home.