The fall semester is nearly over and I’m excited to cross that finish line. However, the last few days of November brought the familiar, dreadful feeling of homesickness.
As an international student and a senior, this isn’t something new to me.
Being three time zones and an 8-hour plane flight from home, it’s easy to feel a little out of place at times. Even though I’ve been here for three years, and I’ve become at ease with my routine, I’m still bound to feel occasionally homesick.
This Thanksgiving break was especially tough on me. In the past, I’ve either gone home or hopped on a plane to travel somewhere else. But this year, I wanted to stay in Boston. It was too much of a hassle to go home — not to mention, Canada doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in November — and I wanted to save money.
But with that decision came this overwhelming sense of homesickness. I watched all of my friends pack their luggage and leave to go home to their families.
I know I decided to stay, so I don’t have anyone to blame. But I needed to take time for myself, and FaceTime my family to tell them how I was feeling. It was tough, but it ultimately helped me in the end.
As I’m writing this now, it’s the Sunday before classes start, and I realize I actually enjoyed these few days off. Yes, I was — and still am — feeling homesick, but the break was a nice time to recharge and gear up for finals week. I had a cozy Friendsgiving, watched Christmas movies with my roommate and attended a live wrestling event. It was relaxing, and I definitely needed it.
So whether you’re a freshman or a senior, I think it’s important to remember that feeling homesick is a normal part of leaving home. Even if you’re only half an hour away from your family, it’s still going to be a change, and whatever you’re feeling is valid.
It’s helpful to marinate on it for a little while. Counting down the days until you’re back home or talking to someone about it will clear things up in your mind. After all, acknowledging what you’re feeling is the first step to growth.
But being able to get up and move on is just as important. Go out and explore the city. Talk to a few of your friends here or your roommates. Oftentimes when we’re missing home, we like to sit in our bedrooms and sulk in silence, but Boston is at our fingertips. We should take advantage of it.
Once the pace quickens again, and you go back to the chaotic routine of school, it’ll all be over in a flash. For me, this past fall semester was everything I hoped it would be.
I loved my classes and the people I surrounded myself with, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. So soak it all in, because while you may feel homesick now, there might come a time when you start missing what this semester brought to your life.