Homesickness is a normal feeling among internationals, especially during the winter. Here are some personal tips for you to combat it.
Hi there, I hope you are doing good with the semester beginning after a great summer holiday. By this time, I think you already got to know the city quite well and got to enjoy it too. So, being abroad is such a nice experience, you always grow up a lot and create new great stories but, of course, at some point, you miss home and feel the most famous mood that the internationals experience : The feared, Homesickness.
According to the dictionary (fancy, huh?!), homesick is an adjective used to describe when someone is sad or depressed due to a longing for home or family while being away from them for a long time. Well, I can’t tell how many times I have experienced this mood since I moved to Deggendorf but there are some things I always do that helps me a lot to get rid of it. Today I will list them for you.
1. Let yourself be homesick for a bit. You might be wondering why I’m suggesting this to you, but this part is the most important one. Once you recognize that you are feeling homesick, let yourself feel it, and understand how it could influence your routine. This will help you to overcome the situation once and for all. What I normally do is I give myself some time and then I make 1 or 2 calls to talk to my family and friends. I also try to not talk about how I am missing it but I tell them what’s new in my life and listen to their stories, and it’s nice to feel closer to them. Remember that this whole process shouldn’t take too long; otherwise it will make you even sadder (and that’s not our purpose, remember?).
2. Stay off your social media. Yeah, social media is good but it can be crucial sometimes. At this moment, the last thing you deserve is to see people from your home country having fun or doing things that you wish you were doing. So, it’s better to get off it a bit and live some real-life events in your new reality. What I do is, I limit my time on social media and turn off social media notifications on my phone. Then I don’t get distracted by memories from home when I do find myself perking up (I know life without your Instagram is a bit hard but do that for your own good, come on!).
3. Explore your new surroundings. My 3rd tip for you today is: Go outside, explore, find your favorite spot in the city, and keep your mind busy. Remember that you’re now living in a new place and that is your new reality, so use it properly. Even though Deggendorf is a small city, there are some nice things to do around that could totally help you get over your homesick mood. You could go hiking, have some nice ice cream in Metten by bike, walk by the Donaustrand or in the city center, go to the cinema, there is always a nice option to do around Deggendorf. Finding something to do outside is what usually helps me the most, and don’t forget to explore the city until you find your favorite place (yeah, I do have mine but it’s a secret, sorry guys).
4. Go to a typical restaurant or cook your favorite food. Something that connects you to the place is the local food. So, whenever I am missing my country and especially my city, I cook some typical dishes as in Deggendorf there is no Brazilian restaurant. By doing that I feel as if I am home and it usually helps a lot. Then, get your friends and go to a typical restaurant or cook something. Having friends around is always super fun especially with some delicious food.
5. Remember that you always have people to count on. Last but not least, the fifth tip. Never forget that you are not alone and there are always people you can count on. Your friends, the other internationals, and mainly the International Office. Remember that we are all students and we all go through tough homesick feelings, but once we support each other we can make the best out of it. Do not keep it with you, talk to your friends (I always piss off mine until I feel better, sorry not sorry), let them know what you are feeling, and allow yourself to get some help. Also, if you need, the International Office team is always there to help you.
Well, I hope my tips help you as much as they do help me. Once again, Homesickness is normal but don’t forget that you’re living a unique moment of your life. So go out there and enjoy this small but beautiful city that is Deggendorf.
Maria Carolina is an International Management student from Brazil and currently studying for one year at DIT as a double degree student. She is part of ESN Deggendorf and Ceará Global project. She is passionate about life and how it goes for people all around the world. She is a nature lover especially when it comes to sunsets.