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Image: Huffington Post
It’s time to wake up and pack your stuff, because we are all going back to reality- university life. Most of us have started lessons by now, and some might have gotten their assignments already (good luck with them!). This lifestyle might be very familiar to some students to the point where they’re going to say “here we go again!”. However, to freshers, especially international students, this could be very new to them. They have to get used to a new environment and new ways of teaching, at the same time being away from parents, having new responsibilities, living independently and, at some point, they will face the common problem every fresher (and maybe returning students) might have: feeling homesick.
Every time I listened to my parents’ stories of being away from home, they would say it was a big move, although they only moved to another city less than 200km away, or to another island in the country. Homesickness would play a big part of their lives back then. They couldn’t talk to their parents that much, as they could only use public telephones, or exchange long letters that would take a long time to be sent. They also couldn’t go back home often because it was rather expensive to take the train and it would take forever if they took the bus. But as depressing as it may sound, this story was way back in the day and everything has changed a lot. Hence, homesickness shouldn’t be a big problem anymore.
So, this is good news, probably?
Let’s think about it. Communication has changed a lot since smartphones were introduced and most of us, even our parents, have them and at least one social media app installed. With these, we can talk to our parents anytime by texts, calls, video calls or simply exchanging pictures. Some of us might have a group chat for our parents, siblings or maybe extended family members—just like me. I have three family group chats in WhatsApp consisting of different family members from both my mother and father’s sides -and trust me, these groups are always active. However, because of this ease, it might get annoying sometimes. Some parents sometimes just can’t leave their children alone. They always text and their children must reply immediately, otherwise they will call their them, thinking they are doing something bad. I have a friend whose father is acting like this; he gets very annoyed every time his father sends a bunch of text demanding him to reply and being suspicious. If your parents are also like this, try look on the bright side—they are probably missing you and worried.
Communicating with family and old friends back home is sometimes not enough. We might still feel lonely and need a friend or two to talk to or just to hang out with. This is what societies are for. There are plenty of societies available and you are free to choose whichever suits you. From there you can meet new people who have the same interest or even the same nationality as you if you are an international student. Then, who knows, if you guys click, you can be good lifelong friends!
There are still many ways of coping with homesickness and each of you might have your own ways. But, in the end, we are all going to miss home, especially when things get rough. If you ever feel like that, try to talk to somebody or your parents about it. It doesn’t hurt to admit that you miss home.