By Sydney Shea, Staff Writer
After dreaming of traveling to London for most of my life, when I arrived I was so anxious and homesick that I could barely eat, save for one bowl of Special K each day — not the optimal way of slimming down for summer. A terrorist attack in which a UK solider was stabbed in broad daylight was not welcoming either, especially when I thought I had left the Boston Marathon bombing behind. Thoughts of Rhett the Terrier, the Citgo sign or the Charles River made me cry and want to board the next plane to Logan Airport immediately. I was so angry at myself for having such a horrible attitude after wanting to come to this amazing city for so long.
I found the best way to get over missing home was to take in new experiences as much as possible, even if I was just going through the motions of being a tourist. While I enjoyed seeing Big Ben, Harrods, Greenwich and Kensington Palace, one of the best feelings someone can experience abroad is allowing yourself to get lost and then navigate back home.
I began to let myself relax after that. I then understood why every friend who had studied abroad in London would miss it so terribly. London has so much to offer, whether it’s visit to any of the world-class museums, a drunken pub-crawl or just being able to get lost in a new city.
In just over a month, I have been on the list of the most exclusive clubs and have had once-in-a-lifetime experiences; an after-hours reception at the British Museum, where I sipped white wine in one of the world’s most famous art galleries.
My adventure has made me a more open-minded person, but I will say that I will not return thinking that Boston isn’t my favorite city on the planet. It’s always good to be back home.
By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
What comes to mind when you hear that word? I see my family and friends, my room, beaches and palm trees. I could go on forever, but that’ll only make my bout of homesickness worse.
When I arrived in Boston, I thought this city was nothing short of amazing (and I still do). I guess when you’re just so enamored by new sights and experiences, you get momentarily distracted by what you’re leaving behind. When my mom left Boston for Guam after helping me get settled, I felt no pain or anxiety. I know. It sounds bad, but I see it as a sign of reassurance, a sign that I’m going to do quite well with my time and independence here in Boston.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I began to feel homesick. I soon grew tired of the dining hall food and the repetitiveness of my work schedule, and I was overwhelmed with school in general. Oh, and I was COLD.
I wanted to go home, and I somewhat still feel the same way right now. As much as I love this city, it will never replace my home back in Guam. I’m not an expert, but I believe the root of homesickness is the fact we’re missing certain aspects of home that we can’t replace in college. You’re not going to find family or your Mom’s mouthwatering fried chicken in this city, unless you grew up here, of course. The best advice I can give to palliate homesickness is to find distractions and near-replacements for home.
Remind yourself why you’re here
What brought you to Boston University? Ask yourself that question and when you find the answer, pursue it! Sometimes in the midst of all the work we’re given and the many distractions that seep their way into our lives, we tend to forget our primary reasons for being here. So, remind yourself why you came here in the first place. Take yourself back to that moment you got your acceptance letter in the mail and thought about all the cool things you were going to do here. Now do it.
Join a club
Affiliating yourself with a club can give you a clearer sense of identity and will provide you with plenty distractions. Boston
University, being the diverse institution that it is, has a ton of multicultural clubs that you can join and that’ll make you feel at home. I’m Filipino, so if it wasn’t for the Filipino Students Association, I would probably not have met a lot of my friends at BU or gotten my quick fix of Filipino cuisine.
Of course, clubs aren’t limited to your ethnicity. There are several other clubs open for you, such as sports, community service and academic societies.
Ask for a care package
Considering that we’re nearing the end of October, I’m assuming your family or friends back home should have already sent you a care package. If they haven’t done so yet, ask them to send you one (or more)! Make a list of all your favorite foods and comfort objects that you can’t get in the city. Ask your grandma to send you a batch of her famous cookies. Tell your parents to send you that stuffed toy that wouldn’t fit in your luggage or your favorite books that you want to reread. Try to recreate home as much as you possibly can.
Get out of your dorm
The city is your playground. You literally can’t count the amount of things to do in the city. Get out and do something. Pick up a new sport. Go on a tour. Go shopping. Go to the aquarium. Do homework at a park. Try not to stay in cooped up in your room all day. That place is meant for sleeping.
Call home regularly
You should be doing this already. There isn’t a valid reason why you shouldn’t be calling home. If you miss your family, chances are that they miss you, too. Do your parents a favor a call them just to check in with them. Let them know how your week’s been going and ask them how theirs has been as well. Just because you’re in college does not mean you have to sever contact with your family. It’s completely okay to call home.
I would also tell you to visit home if it’s feasible for you. If you’re extremely homesick, then I suggest you do it. But try not to go every weekend. That goes against one of the best parts of being a college student, which is to find your independence.