It always strikes us unaware; we may think we can handle it, even get over it. But then it strikes us and we feel helpless, almost like a child going on a camping trip, for the first time. Homesickness is not something that adults and, in some cases even teenagers, refuse to admit, even to themselves; the very mention of it brings back memories how we missed home, and mom’s food. Youngsters who go to another city to study, also often miss home, at least for the first few months. The duration may be longer for those who find it hard to make friends in the new college, or hostel. For such students, since it is considered childish to miss home for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to mix with anybody, for the fear that they will be teased, and picked at, for missing home. Many such students develop angry feelings towards their parents, or loved ones for leaving or “deserting” them, when they needed them most. If you are one such person, instead of directing your anger in destructive behaviour, direct it in something constructive.
How To Cope With Homesickness
Come out of your spell of denial and accept that you are feeling homesick. It is perhaps the first step towards healing anything. Also, tell yourself that it is all right to miss home for the first few days that you are away. It was, after all, your comfort zone; an inseparable part of your life all these days. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” In addition, some people get used to living far from home far more easily as compared to others; they are the ones who have probably moved around too long to call any place home. The next time such people make fun of your homesickness, you know what to do – feel sorry for them, and smile sympathetically.
The more time you spend in sitting and brooding, the less good it will do you. An Indian saying goes that an empty mind is a devil's workshop; thus, keep yourself as busy as possible. With less time to think and, consequently, less time to brood, you may enjoy the place much more. If you are at a camping trip, it may give you more time to enjoy the activities, that are a part of the trip. If you are at a hostel, study whenever you start feeling too homesick. Or else go for a walk to the nearby areas. If the hostel has provision for games and sports, involve yourself in them.
If you are one of those lucky, enlightened people who can see it coming, keep a few items that remind you of home, with you. A few pictures of friends and family members, a favourite cricket ball, a soft toy, a gift from your best friend, will help alleviate feelings of homesickness. In due course of time, these objects that remind you of home, will work wonders for you by turning your negative feelings into positive ones – the memories that first made you sad or angry, even brought tears into your eyes, will make you smile with nostalgia.