Virginia, Journalism student & Marketing Intern shares her experience of being away from home and how she deals with it …
Homesickness can appear at any given time during the year, however it usually worsens over the holiday period. For me this is because I know that my family and loved ones are gathering and having fun while I am miles away and by myself. Unfortunately, I am very familiar with the feeling of homesickness because Spain is home for me. So as you can imagine, it’s not as easy as a couple of hours train ride if I want to see my family. Usually, I visit them over Christmas and Summer holidays, and they try to come to Cardiff for a long weekend at some point during the year.
Last Easter break was my first holiday away from home as I decided to stay in Cardiff. To be fair, it was lonely and boring at some points but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Many of my friends stayed in Cardiff too, so we spent most of our time together and keeping each other company. This is the best advice I can give you to deal with homesickness:
1. Be around people.
2. Don’t keep your emotions to yourself – express how you are feeling.
3. Talk to your friends or write about your nostalgia – it will help you feel better.
In my case, I found very helpful to blog about the Easter traditions that I missed and how I usually celebrated the holiday.
4. Stay in touch with your family and friends from home as much as you can.
I am in contact with my family on a daily basis: we text every day and Skype 3 times a week.
5. Don’t limit contact to just parents and siblings.
Dropping a text to another family member, such as an aunt or uncle, or a close family friend, will also make you feel better. To keep in contact with my friends from Spain, I find Whatsapp groups particularly useful because this way we are all updated on our day-to-day life and it’s the best outlet to joke around – it feels as if we are hanging out together.
6. Try cooking treats from home.
During holiday period, I think cooking and baking helps quite a lot to feel closer to home. Last Easter I decided to make a typical Spanish ‘Holy Week’ dessert called Torrijas.
Even though I don’t usually eat it whenever I’m home because it’s more typical from other regions (and has loads of calories), the fact that I can’t find it in the UK but still managed to make it from scratch gave me a sense of achievement and fulfilment. Furthermore, a friend helped me bake it, this made the experience much more fun because I could tell her distrustful glances while I explained her how we were going to fry bread with milk and sugar.
This Easter I’m staying in Cardiff
However, luckily for me this Easter, I know I won’t feel as homesick as last year because my cousins are coming to visit me, so they will keep me busy! It will also be nice to hang out with people from home but in a different surrounding.
Need someone to talk to?
If you would like some extra support over the holidays (or anytime of year) please contact the University’s Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service.
Visit the University’s Intranet and search ‘Health and Wellbeing’ to find out more about the services available to you. The Counselling, Health & Wellbeing team are used to dealing with all manner of things. Our team of professionals offer a confidential service that aims to support students. Please contact us in confidence by email, telephone or call in, whichever suits you best.
You can also contact Cardiff Nightline, this is a confidential student led phone service, open every night during term time between 8pm and 8am. Tel: Nightline from 8pm-8am on (029) 2087 0555.
I hope you have a great Easter Holiday!
Virginia, Student Marketing Intern
Your Student Life, Supported
Advice & Money I Careers & Employability I Counselling, Health & Wellbeing I Disability & Dyslexia