Keep Calm & Carry On: Dealing with Homesickness
When I first started having sleepovers at my friends’ houses I used to feel a bit sad, not because I actually was sad or wasn’t having fun, but because I missed my home, the comforts of familiarity; my favourite pillow, my family.
These feelings can be enhanced even more when the new experience is a whole new country with a whole new variety of people. At Oxford Summer Courses there is no expectation for you to suffer in silence and travel X amount of miles away from your comfort zone to feel alone.
So, in preparation for your visit to us this summer, I have come up with a fool-proof guide to dealing with homesickness and any anxiety you might feel about your upcoming trip.
1. You are not alone
The first thing to remember is that you are not alone, cliché but true. There will be so many students on the course who are feeling just the same as you; they miss their bed or their sister, they want their mum’s amazing Bolognese, so don’t be afraid to speak to your new friends about this.
“Omg I really miss my dog” is not a weird thing to say, and you’ll be surprised at the amount of people who agree. There is a certain amount of credit that has to be given to the “safety in numbers” strategy, whether it’s characters surviving in a horror movie or feeling more comfortable in a new environment, the more people generally equals the better. This goes the same for making new friends, which can be a stressful experience but luckily in this context, everyone’s in the same boat so put yourself out there! Oxford Summer Courses alumni have made friends for life on our summer schools, and you will too.
2. The power of the internet
Secondly, and equally as important, don’t underestimate the power of the internet.
Thanks to our 21st century world, everyone is available, instantly, at no cost, at the tap of a screen. Use this. If you’re feeling particularly homesick or really do desperately want to see your dog, then FaceTime/Skype/Facebook Messenger/Whatsapp home. They’ll love to hear from you and it will make you feel like you’re not so far away after all. This being said, engage in the aforementioned apps to tell them about how much fun you’re having – they’ll want to hear about your trip to the Harry Potter Studios or how great you are at punting.
3. Have fun!
Thirdly, and arguably the most valuable of all advice; have FUN. As well as the amazing tutoring in your chosen subjects, you are coming here to make the best friends and memories. This will be the experience of a lifetime and one you will never forget.
If you’re nervous now, that’s okay because once you get here you’ll have an unforgettable time; it’s like going swimming, at first the water is cold and uncomfortable, but once you get your shoulders underwater, you warm up, and from then on you can’t even remember what it was like to be above water.
So, while new things can be scary and daunting to start with, remember they lead to new exciting adventures and beginnings.
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Nervous about staying away from home this summer? Our marketing intern, Bethan, offers some top tips on how to combat the homesickness.