As we approach the long-awaited end of the semester, we’re all ready to go home and take a well-deserved break from school. Reading week seems like ages ago, and most of us would agree a one-week break wasn’t enough.
For me, homesickness is starting to kick in, and as the semester comes to an end, the feeling is intensifying. Daily FaceTimes, phone calls, and texts can’t beat the warm feeling of being at home with family and reuniting with friends.
We’re so close to the end of the semester, and yet so far.
Homesickness is accompanied by a mounting level of stress and anxiety as exams and final assignments approach. Reality is setting in, and our initial enthusiasm from the beginning of the semester is fading.
It’s easy to feel more homesick as we isolate ourselves to focus on our academics. During these stressful times, we’re tasked with coping without familiar comforts while maintaining our physical and mental well-being to prevent burnout.
It’s important to recognize and accept the emotions that come with homesickness and stress. Whatever you’re feeling is always valid, and letting yourself feel those emotions is the first step towards feeling better.
Staying connected to family and friends back home will provide comfort and a sense of familiarity. Don’t be afraid to talk to friends, peers, classmates, or roommates about your homesickness. Believe it or not, they’re likely feeling the same way.
Homesickness is often viewed as a challenge, but it can be used as motivation to persevere through stressful times. By channelling your emotional energy productively, you can use it as an impetus to explore new opportunities.
Instead of focusing on what’s waiting for you at home, use homesickness as a signal to step outside your comfort zone. Pursuing connection elsewhere by attending a club event, going to the mall, enjoying a meal with friends, or indulging in a self-care night will make it seem like time is flying by. Later, you can share these new experiences with your family and friends from home.
In coping with homesickness, you must prioritize your physical and mental health. Neglecting either will affect your ability to maintain a routine and create add stress. Eating healthy and balanced meals, staying hydrated, exercising, stretching, sleeping well, and interacting with others are great ways to practice self-care.
Additionally, Queen’s has various resources for students seeking academic or health and wellness services. Taking advantage of campus resources that are free to use can always be helpful.
You’re not alone in feeling the effects of homesickness, and the stress of exams and final assignments. The next time you’re missing home and need a break from studying or schoolwork, take a moment to step back, breathe, and engage in activities that bring you joy.
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