So you have graduated and have a regular job. Or you are now in college in a university far away from your home. At first, moving away from your family and friends back home can feel like freedom or an exciting thing to do. But for some people, it could be sad and frightening. All of the planning, packing, even buying your new furniture can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of things to consider by yourself now including paying the rent, budgeting, cooking your food, and cleaning your own place or space. Not to mention dealing with a roommate if you will be sharing a room. Here we gather some tips on how to cope with moving away from family and friends for the first time.
PLAN A GET TOGETHER BEFORE MOVING AWAY
PACK YOUR THINGS WELL
Organize your things well. Pack them in groups so it will not be difficult for you to unpack. Do not add stress to yourself when you cannot locate your personal things.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELING
Homesickness is real and you don’t need to deny it. No matter how badass you think you are, you don’t need to be ashamed to admit that you are missing your family and friends back home. Much of what you know and can rely on is available to you at home. Homesickness is a normal reaction to this experience. In an interview with CNN, Josh Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health says, “It’s normal and adaptive to feel homesick for some period of time. It’s just your emotions and mind telling you you’re out of your element.” Cry a bit if you must but don’t overdo. Homesickness is temporary and will pass. Understanding that your homesickness and loneliness aren't permanent might help you see the bright future that awaits you. Instead of feeling sad or blue, make the move to your new home away from home step by step and remind yourself that there are positive parts of your new circumstance.
BRING FAMILIAR ITEMS FROM HOME
It could be your pillow, family pictures, or favorite stuffed toy that can give you a feeling that you are still at home or what you called continuity. In doing so, your new environment will have a vibe back home. Decorating your room with photographs and other familiar objects will help you establish a feeling of familiarity where you'll be delighted to return home. You can recreate familiar sounds, smells, and sights by having the same paint color, or scented candle that you have in your home. "I've had a cuckoo clock for years that sings every 30 minutes," says Maxwell Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy. "To me the sound of the clock is home, and having it running right away always does the trick."
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Instead of being alone, make an effort to meet your neighbors, coworkers, or classmates. Keep in mind that developing friends takes time, but as you engage in social situations, you will gradually create ties. Making new friends and meeting with people might help ease feelings of loneliness and isolation. You can do this by participating in school activities that might help you avoid feeling gloomy and homesick. Joining clubs, attending campus activities, or participating in sports can not only keep you busy enough to keep you from feeling homesick but will also help you get out there and meet people. There are several methods to meet new people at university that go beyond joining groups and organizations. Sian Duffin of Arden University suggested, “Go for coffee after a lecture or cook a shared meal with your housemates. Check out peer-mentoring schemes or talks given by your faculty; they can be a great way to connect with people.” The more people and new friends you meet, the less homesick you will feel.
We are fortunate to live today in a digitally connected world. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionized our lives over the years, allowing relationships, including long-distance ones, to not only survive but also thrive. The distance becomes shorter. You may communicate with others no matter where they are using your phone or computer via video call, online groups, social media, and yes, even online games. Checking in with people, sharing a lovely photo, or and humorous video are all possible now. When you have a free moment, send an email to a buddy who now lives in another state, make a quick call with your mother, or phone your father. Feeling linked to other people is beneficial all of the time, especially during the first few months of separation.
Exploring your new neighborhood will be really helpful for you to cope with moving away. Try restaurants near you and try to find a new favorite hang out. Be familiar with your neighborhood and discover nice places where you feel most at ease. Your feeling of homesickness will start to fade as you become more acquainted.
MOVE ON AND BE HAPPY
It is very important to focus on the good parts of life. You're here for a reason; take a step back, breathe, and remember why you're here. Moving away from family and friends for the first time can be heartbreaking and difficult - don't expect it to be easy. You'll miss them, and they'll miss you back. You might feel a bit left out missing some occasions back at home, but don’t feel bad. You could join them virtually and have fun. As you create a new circle of friends, you will be making new memories. Moving away can make you feel down but don’t let it bring you down.
With these tips, we hope you now have some ideas to assist you to ease into the emotional uncertainties of being away from family and friends and helps you to easily cope with moving away with your friends and family for the first time. You may offer them a simple remembrance present that will remind them of you every time they use it. Funny with relatable coffee mugs will be a good choice to give as a gift. A nice group photo on the frame can always give you a smile every time they see it. Remember that distance will never be a hindrance for you to express your love and care to your family and friends.
Photo credits: Rodnae Production