On Homesickness

I moved away from home – at the time, that was China – to go to boarding school in Connecticut when I was 13. I have lived away from home for the bulk of every year ever since. I am very familiar with being homesick, and you’d think that having lived away from home for 7 years and running now should mean that I’m very good at being homesick.

I’m not.

Actually, I don’t really remember ever being super homesick during high school. I did begin listening to a lot more Chinese music, because it reminded me of China which in turn reminded me of my family. When my family moved back to Canada, I stopped listening to so much Chinese music and instead started binge listening to a lot of childhood music – Disney music, musical music, et cetera.

This is my ridiculous mom who got really excited being at NASA.

And this is my ridiculous little sister and my dad waiting in line for Disney tickets.
My family is adorable. How could I not miss them all the time?

Homesickness really became a thing when I came to college. I think coupled with the stress of being a student at MIT, a lot of the time I just wanted to run home to my family. Obviously, this wasn’t something possible, so to deal with homesickness I did some of the next best things. Here they are:

1. Skype my family. I skype call my family every week, and if we miss a week I start feeling really awful. My sister is the number one person who can cheer me up – last semester, when I was really sad most of the time due to numerous reasons, she would stick her (slightly stinky) little feet in my dad’s face to make me laugh. When I called her this past weekend, she told me she was going to give me “one hundred – one thousand – one GOOGLE hugs!” when I got home for Thanksgiving.

2. Watch a childhood movie. I almost always had a lot of “down” time where I was building models and didn’t really need to think when I was taking studios, and so I would just play all of the disney movies back to back. Classic Disney is the best kind of Disney. Also, Mufasa’s death scene always helped me cry out all of my frustrations. I also watched all of the Harry Potter movies about a million times because that was also a token of my childhood.

3. Last but not least, go find the people who are the next best thing: my friends. My friends are my family at MIT, and I know I can always fall back on them when I’m feeling down and awful and homesick. While none of them are adorable 6 year olds (sorry, guys) they’re almost just as good at making me laugh and smile and forget my worries.

I doubt that I will ever be “great” at being homesick. My mood gets pretty affected when I’m missing my sister who will run around and pull my hair and give me “one google” hugs, or my dad who makes weird faces at me, or my mom who never fails to feed me all the nice things when I get home. These are ways that I’ve been managing.

How do you deal with being homesick? Let me know!

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