My time as an undergraduate was coming to an end and I could not wait to start the next chapter of my life – studying for a postgraduate degree. For four years of undergraduate life, I’d stayed at home and commuted every day.
The prospect of moving away from home was really exciting. I would no longer feel like the only person in class still living with their parents. I was 22, more than capable of looking after myself and relishing the independence.
Moving day eventually came and I was ready to go. I spent the day wandering around my new city with my parents and looked forward to exploring and meeting new people.
But, in the first few days, I felt an overwhelming pang of loneliness. All I wanted to do was go back to the comfort of my own home, to feel a sense of familiarity.
When the days turned into months, I felt embarrassed to talk about it. I felt that, at 22, I shouldn’t want to speak to my parents every day. I felt like a failure, and I didn’t know how to get over my homesickness.
Then everything changed one day a couple of months later. I woke up and no longer wanted to be back home. I finally felt everything fall into place.
Was it a coincidence that I felt less homesick after a couple of months? Not entirely. There’s definitely some truth in the phrase, ‘Time heals all wounds.’
But it wasn’t just the passing of time. Without realising it, I’d been doing little things to take care of myself and feel more connected. After a bit of time, this paid off.
At the time, I felt my homesickness was a sign of being weak and I was ready to consider moving back home and commuting to university from there. But I persevered and I’m glad I did, because I have come out stronger for it.
If you’re feeling homesick, do not feel embarrassed. It happens to lots of people and it does get easier. But try not to rely on time alone, look after yourself as much as you can by staying active and open to new experiences.