The Student Abroad Series: Episode 2
Here I am, back with the second episode of "The Student Abroad" series.
This time, the topics covered will be friendship and homesickness, two of the main aspects of a teenager who moves to another country all alone.
From a personal experience, it has never been the easiest thing to create stable friendship relationships in my life. I believe this is due to myself being an under-cover introvert; I find extremely difficult to truly bond with new people, as it requires me a long period of time to get to know a person enough to completely open and being comfortable with him/her.
Obviously being in such an environment where you find yourself surrounded by people at every hour of every day makes the process way easier, as it almost forces you to bond with the others.
But getting to know people and classmates is not always enough to make you feel personally satisfied and happy.
There are days where I feel like the entire world is against me, I am against myself and everything is extremely hard to bear with. Some moments where you just need the presence of someone you really trust, an hug from someone who truly knows you, someone who has always been there, someone who was there before you moved abroad. Sometimes, you just need someone who listens to you in your own language.
Of course, not for everyone is like this. Many people I met got a partner, a best friend, someone who to trust and feel themselves with, and that is the best thing that may happen when you move somewhere else. You have to create new relationships. But, as in my case, it's not always easy to reach the deep real connection that you need in moments of extreme sadness or unhappiness.
(Thankfully I have met many amazing people that unfortunately I cannot see anymore, as they graduated or left for internships. Without them I would have never been able to cope all this time I've been away. Thank you for being here, for listening, for supporting and bearing with me my mood swings, my obsessions and everything I'be been through. I love you, you know who you are!)
When you leave everything behind, take your luggage and leave all by yourself, these is a feeling you will, at least once, experience. It is a moment when you just need to accept the fact that whatever you will do, you cannot solve it immediately. And it hurts. Because phone calls and video chats become not enough. And there is really no solution. You suffer, you accept it, you move on and wait to come home as soon as possible.
And this brings us to the second part of this post:
Sometimes it is immediate, sometimes it takes days, months or even years before actually starting to feeling homesick.
It honestly took me 10 months before I actually started to miss home and my family. I never really realised why honestly, but one day it just hit me straight in the face.
It hit me with a feeling of extreme depression and "what am I even doing here" thought, that lasted no-stop for two weeks. After this extremely low-mood period of time, the acceptance started to pop out again, but from that first day, there hasn't been a moment when I wouldn't think about home or my mom.
Homesickness makes you aware. It shows you all those little details of your daily life that you gave for granted, for obvious... and that now look like a far pleasure.
I started to miss driving my car during summer, I missed cooking with my mom and staying for hours chatting in the kitchen. I missed even going grocery shopping and I missed going out with my friends. I missed waking up in my bed, looking out of the window and seeing my garden. I missed the smell of home, the sound of the main door closing, the neighbours' dog barking. I missed the sun rays reflecting a beautiful warm light in my room during the sunsets. I missed sounds, flavours, odours, voices, I missed my old habits.
Homesickness is freaking hard. And sometimes the only cure is to actually come back. But when you can't and you have no choice, the only thing you can do is to create a new feeling of home wherever you are. Little new routines that become familiar and become a part of the new person you are becoming and the new memories you are creating.
And even if home sweet home will sometimes never change... we have to be proud for what we are achieving and creating. Because anyway, every little bird one day has to leave his nest and fly, alone.