If you’re currently feeling homesick, remember that you’re not alone. Feelings of homesickness are a completely normal part of adjusting to a new environment. In a recent ISSS blog post, international student Nabiol Afrooz shared his feelings about his homesickness. Like Nabiol, you might also consider writing about how you feel. Take the advice of UT Austin psychology professor Dr. James W. Pennebaker, who has shown that just 15 minutes of expressive writing can carry major emotional benefits.
Talk about your feelings with someone your trust.
Another great way to address feelings of homesickness is by talking to someone who is close to you, whether back home or here at UT. In addition to friends and family, talking with someone from the Counseling and Mental Health Center can be a great option. They have workshops for international students on a variety of topics, including homesickness. If you would rather talk to someone in private, you can set up an appointment with a counselor from CMHC. Counseling is great resource for ANYONE who just needs someone to listen to them. Your counselor will listen to you without judging and won’t tell anyone about your conversation.
Join an organization that catches your interest.
A final way to tackle homesickness is to make connections by getting involved in things that you find interesting. If you haven’t noticed, UT is a BIG school! On a campus this size, there are groups and activities for everyone. Check out the hundreds of different student organizations you can get involved in at UT.
Homesickness won’t go away overnight, so be patient as you settle in to a new place and rhythm. Don’t forget that this is an adventure, and you’ll be able to tell stories about how weird and awesome Austin is for years to come.