By: Crystal Du, Greenheart Exchange Marketing and Outreach Intern
Hi, I am Crystal. Welcome to my Crystal Clear Tips blog post series! I was a J-1 high school student when I first came to the U.S. from China. I have since grown from a teenager to an independent adult; I have grown from being unexposed to being multi-cultural and mature. There is so much to learn about the world and myself throughout my time in the U.S.
When I first came over to the U.S. by myself, I often felt overwhelmed and missed everything back home. I want to let you know that it is okay to feel homesick sometimes. When you feel homesick, know that you are not the only one who feels that way. When I felt homesick, the below tips helped me through that tough time:
- Create a routine. It is important to follow a routine; eating and resting well are also essential for a healthy lifestyle. When your body is comforted, your mind will feel at ease and relaxed. For instance, I would schedule some time to work out after work every day. That way I could ensure that I was putting enough time to maintain my health while having a schedule to follow.
- Try to expose and challenge yourself. For example, if you are overwhelmed by a crowded market, go walk around in a crowded market until you feel comfortable. Getting out of your comfort zone is always helpful.
- Try not to cling to people back home through social media. There are ways to stay connected to your home culture while also embracing your host culture. Try to schedule regular Skype sessions instead of being on social media all the time.
- Always plan something on the weekend and look forward to it during the week. Having something ahead of you is exciting to think about; staying busy and having plans will make you feel better.
- Meet new people and build new relationships. You will be surprised by how similar people are despite the fact that they are from different countries and backgrounds. Try talking to more people from the host culture and you will for sure find people who understand you.
- Celebrate your traditional holidays in your host country. It is relaxing and satisfying to be proud of your culture and share it with the people around you.
- Just remember that it is okay to feel homesick. Share your thoughts and feelings with friends, co-workers, and people that you can trust. It is okay to be vulnerable and talk it out. Keeping your emotions to yourself can only make you feel more homesick.
Continue reading more tips here!