The Reality of Being Homesick Abroad

When it comes to studying abroad, you think it will all be fun and games. You think it’s going to be some magical experiences that will change the rest of your life. Well, don’t get me wrong, my trip has been nothing but magical so far. And, yes it has changed my life in so many ways. You really start to grow up and learn who you are as a person. But, along with learning who you are, you start to see how hard the real world can be. You have to grow up in a matter of minutes, when arriving to a new place alone. Yes, this is an amazing thing for people! You should be thrown into the world at some point, to truly learn and grow as a person. But, it can also make life extremely tricky. By extremely tricky, I mean you start to get homesick.

When you’re growing up, you’re constantly used to having your parents around and helping you with many of the everyday tasks of live. Things like just making your bed, or taking out the trash. Yes, when you go off to college you learn to do these things, but when you’re abroad it can end up being the last thing on your mind. Then, the next thing you know, your entire room is piled up with clothes and trash. Even small tasks like doing the laundry, begin to creep into the back of your mind. You’re so busy and overwhelmed with a new place, that you completely forget about all of the responsibilities you have to deal with. No more having mom yell at you to do your homework; you have to remember all of these things for yourself.

Drinks with my close friend, Victoria

Another huge problem is having to get things like groceries, and run errands. Many people think that living in a dorm means that you do not need things like groceries and cleaning supplies. But, in reality we all need a good supply of snacks, and a way to keep our space clean. So, even just doing the little things like running to the store starts to become a big responsibility. In reality, I think that what being abroad has taught me so far, responsibility. I have learned what it really means to be on your own. You have to find time to do all of these things by yourself, and balance that with not only school, but trying to explore new places as well!

Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time

Exploring Barcelona

Overall the biggest thing I have realized, is how extremely homesick I can get. You begin to miss the little things, not even just your mom doing your chores or running errands. You begin to miss things like laying in your bed and watching movies all night with your best friends, and being able to come home and just relax. While you begin to make your city abroad your home, it still does not compare to the true feeling of being home. You can make a dorm room as cozy as you please, but nothing ever beats the true feeling of going home. Especially going home to your family. I have so many friends here, who have become, in a sense, my little family. We all have each other to go through this experience with together. But, at the same time I have become extremely thankful for everyone I have back home as well. My friends, and especially my family. Being away from them has made me see how much they all do for me, and I cannot wait to see them again. They help you with all of these little responsibilities, which you can tend to forget when you are off on your own. They have allowed me to see just how much I miss them. Being away is great, and I am not always homesick, but I have definitely grown and learned to appreciate home much more than I ever did before.

Sydney Helphenstine 

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