Longing for home
Feeling homesick always gets me on long uni breaks.
As international students, feeling homesick is just something that we will go through as we leave the nest. Some might get over it relatively quickly while others, like myself, find themselves being hit with a wave of homesickness every now and then.
Yes, even as I enter my third year of uni.
I like to think that feeling homesick persisted in me because I left home just before the pandemic began to hit the globe in full force. Not only did my family have to cancel their plans to visit me but I also did not get to visit them for about 2 years – I was lucky enough, though, to be able to fly over to my cousin’s place in Perth for my first summer break. I wouldn’t know how to deal with those long 3 months alone otherwise.
So, I could blame Covid for making me miss home a lot more than expected. I also think that my homesickness was intensified given the close relationship I have with my family. I have never been away from them since birth and having to do so completely for two years straight was a bit jarring and lonely.
I will be honest with you, it was tough getting through that homesick hurdle in those past two years. I cried about it a lot, wished I was home a lot, and wondered why I decided to travel before the pandemic a lot too but hey, who would’ve thought 2020 would go down like that, right? In the end, what didn’t kill me only made me stronger.
I was just extremely thankful when borders finally opened and I got to land on home soil again last summer. But that didn’t really cure this longing for home either. When I got back here, I immediately missed the Malaysian heat and my family again. And I feel like you guys might be able to relate to me on this – on days where you’re on your own, you tend to miss home a lot more, no?
I think it might be because I have too much time on my hands to be reminded of my aunt’s cooking and warm evenings spent having tea with my family in our backyard. With the 3-week winter break coming soon, I fear my homesickness would return now that I won’t have assignments and classes to consume my thoughts.
What do I do? I could busy myself with work or hyper-fixate on a new hobby every week. Maybe go on a trip somewhere if my bank account allows it. But I know that the best medicine for homesickness is to talk about it. There’s no shame in calling up my mum and texting my dad that I miss home. In fact, it always makes me feel better after talking to my family. If you’re struggling with homesickness no matter where you’re from or how long you’ve been here, never bottle that feeling up.
What you’re feeling is totally valid and totally normal.