September 30, 2015

MUKHERJEE | The Art of Battling Homesickness

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I don’t know about you, but I have definitely felt bouts of homesickness hit me in the face as I walk from class to class listening to music or while I study in one of the many libraries on campus. As my honeymoon phase at Cornell ends and the true pressure builds up, I’ve slowly but surely begun to remember the little things I used to take for granted back home — how the sunlight lit up my pale peach bedroom or the way I lounged on the chairs on my balcony on a sunny wintry morning with a blanket wrapped around me. It’s a strange sensation to describe, you see. I love being here and soaking in the atmosphere, yet at the same time, I do miss being around my family and not having to search for an area with good reception to be able to call home.

So this week, I decided to come up with a list of things to do when I find my mind wandering towards thoughts of home and I thought I’d share it with all of you.

1. Read a book: This is by far one of the simplest goals to accomplish. It could even be the book you are reading for your FWS class. Just read! I find the moment I open up a book, the familiar touch of the pages and the enthralling story are enough to calm me down and bring me back to my senses.

2. Make an “on-campus” family for yourself: It is normal to feel homesick and feel a surge of uncertainty while you gather your footing, but with time, everything will fall into place. Having a group of people with whom you can goof around or have long deep conversations about the meaning of life with can be an immediate mood booster.

3. Go for a run: Now, this suggestion is coming from someone who absolutely detests running and has the fitness of a couch potato, but going for a run really clears the mind. Turn the music up and start running or even just take a stroll and admire the beautiful campus — it really does make life seem so much better.

4. Watch a TV show: This option comes with a cautionary notice — NETFLIX IS ADDICTIVE. Once you start, you’re probably going to stay stuck on there for a very long time. However, sometimes the Netflix treatment is what helps you to get through the negativity that you’re feeling.

5. SKYPE: I cannot stress this point enough. The reason that applications like Skype, Messenger, Whatsapp, FaceTime, etc. were created was to ensure that you can keep in touch with people. Take the time to Skype your friends or family back home — they are the people who can pull you out of your homesickness and really get you back on track.

6. Sleep: My bed is honestly my new best friend. I can tell you for a fact that sleep is almost always a cure to any depression you may be feeling. So the next time you feel homesick, grab your pillow and just take a nap. I promise you, it will work wonders.

7. Eat: Food is one of those magical things that has the power to make me feel super happy in an instant. Whenever the blues hit me, I make a bee-line to the refrigerator and pull out whatever chocolate I have stored in there. With each bite of deliciousness, I feel my homesickness slowly, but surely, fade away.

I’ve saved the best method for the the end. In my opinion, the very best way to get rid of the blues is by remembering why you’re here. I find the moment I get my drive back, my mind wavers less and I find my happy place once again.

The point is, you’re never alone in what you feel and it is the way you pick yourself back up again that makes the difference, not the fact that you faltered in the first place.