Nostalgia is something that every single human being has felt or will feel at some point in their lives. It is a feeling which is paradoxical – it supplies us with substance, with essence, texture, and warm memories, which fill us up with cosiness. At the same time, by its sheer nature of being a memory, it also reminds us of the lack of that moment in our current situation.
Every year, thousands of young children decide to pursue their higher education away from their homes. Many times, they move to a completely foreign country alone, with only some relatives living near them, without their parents. For these kids, the sense of overwhelming nostalgia can be far more compassing, as compared to those who move abroad with their parents.
Even so, missing your own home, your friends, the food you have grown up eating, your private, comfortable room, your bed, the familiar lanes and paths you have been used to all your life, is more than typical. The excitement and allure of living and studying abroad are gripping for the first few months before the nostalgia starts to hit.
While some people can handle this nostalgia in a reasonably healthy fashion, for many, the feeling is overpowering. It is essential to have the right tools at hand so that you know how to cure this nostalgia, which you will inevitably feel when you are studying and living abroad.
Find the Right Balance When It Comes to Social Media
Thankfully, we are now living in a digital world where everything is at our fingertips. More often than not, it is our parents and our friends who we miss the most when we are abroad. The sense of nostalgia towards them can become so overwhelming that students often face loneliness and even depression.
However, with this accessible medium of technology at our fingertips, we often forget where to draw the line.
You might find yourself spending the right amount of your time on WhatsApp, Facebook, and other such social media apps where you are desperately trying to stay connected to your family back home. This may, in turn, cause you to become a hermit, become introverted and make excuses not to go out and socialize. Even if you do manage to go out, you might spend most of your time scrolling on social media apps on your phone.
Try and fix a scheduled time when you will connect with your family or your friends back at home. During this scheduled time, you can sit back, relax, and catch up on what everyone has been doing, how they are and spend quality time together. Once this time is over, avoid going back to your social media apps and spending all your time scrolling. This constant, desperate need to stay in touch with your life back home might just make you feel more distanced from it.
It is vital to create a healthy balance, where you have a time set apart for your family and friends back home, but you also have adequate time to explore the new country, their cuisines, their places, and make new and exciting connections.
Get Involved in Campus Activities
Whether you are studying in school, college, or a university abroad, there will always be an array of exciting activities being held by your campus. Find your interest or explore new interests. You can get involved in sports, the debate team, arts, theatre, music, and so many other great options.
Not only is this a great way to keep yourself busy, but it also helps alleviate the feelings of homesickness. When you have something to do and keep your mind off home, you will find yourself automatically in better spirits. Plus, this is an excellent opportunity for you to meet new people and make new friends too.
One of the most significant advantages of doing this is the fact that you will most probably meet other students who are homesick as well! Sharing your thoughts and experiences with other students can help you form a deep connection with them, helping you create deep, meaningful friendships.
Create a List of Things You Want to Do
A new city, a new country, and new friends bring about plenty of opportunities for exploration! You are sure to sit brooding and feeling nostalgic if you simply spend your time studying and not doing much else!
Create a list for yourself of the places you would like to visit, the things you would like to do, and the dishes you would like to try out. If you are interested in cooking, you could even get together with a couple of your friends and try and recreate dishes. You could make them native dishes from your country, and they could do the same. It can be a great way to introduce each other’s cultures and cuisines with each other, while at the same time, it is also a great bonding activity to participate in with your friends.
Try and Get out of Your Room
As mentioned earlier, we live in a digital age where technology is used at every step of our lives. Binge-watching Netflix has become the next favourite thing to do for most young people. However, it can inadvertently put you into a loop of boredom. While it is great to have the option of simply clicking on the next show or next movie and spending the next few hours absorbed in Netflix, it is also a good idea to go out and explore the new place you are going to spend the next few years in.
If you get invited to parties but are anxious about it, try and visit, even if it is for just a couple of hours. Just being around people and striking up conversations with strangers, who might become friends, is a great way to beat nostalgia and build a life for yourself in the new city.
The most important thing to remember is that to cure nostalgia, you must be able to create a new, happy life for yourself in your new city. Of course, you will miss home, friends, and parents, but they will always be there for you anyway. Till then, create a new life with new friends and experiences!