“Homesickness is like most sicknesses. It will pass.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie, Brooklyn, and one that has gotten me through a lot in life. It’s so simple and plain and yet, says exactly what I need to hear very often. Homesickness is one of the hardest things to deal with. It’s overwhelming and feels unescapable. When you’re homesick, everything feels wrong. And when you have a bout of homesickness, you believe it will never end. So how do you get through it?
My freshman year of college was hard. I cried every day of my first month: I missed my family and my home. I felt like I didn’t belong at Georgetown and I thought of transferring to a university in New York, where I would have the comfort of home. A junior at Georgetown now, that’s obviously not the route my story took. The change was that in about October, I started to find a community on campus. I was nervous and shy and just wanted to continue to cry, but I pushed myself to join some clubs on campus and try to get involved. The club that truly changed my freshman year was the International Relations Club. I decided to travel to a Model UN conference in Boston with the club and that trip gave me my people here at Georgetown- it’s amazing what a twelve hour bus ride can do.
I took a big risk that weekend, going away with people who were practically strangers, but that jump made all the difference. I went into that trip feeling lonely and scared and I walked out with a support system. I went back to Georgetown with a new perspective: I believed it could be my home and so, it became it. I started getting more involved with our school newspaper and making friends there. By the time Thanksgiving break came, I was excited to go home but I also knew I belonged at Georgetown.
The only way to get through homesickness is through human connection. Building a community isn’t always easy– we have to put ourselves out there and take a chance. My biggest self-care tip is to never let yourself believe you are alone. Everyone feels homesick sometimes– it’s normal. Don’t let it hold you back though from finding happiness where you are. Homesickness passes, but only when you take a leap of faith and believe where you are can be your home.