The second term is officially upon us in full force. Late night assignments are fighting for our attention against the fiery force of procrastination. The G-Vegas night life is once again luring us out with her siren call. However, for some of us, this isn’t enough of a distraction. The comforts of home cannot leave our mind as we long for the sounds of home to lull us to sleep. Perhaps, your mouth cannot palate the food from the dining hall because the taste of home and McDonalds is at the back of your throat. Maybe, your imagination hears the voice of old friends laughing at something your new friends didn’t get. Your humour is only received with blank stares and nervous giggles which ask, “Are you okay?” The result of these little things may lead to homesickness.
Firstly, it is not something to be embarrassed by as it is a normal part of life as you move from one place to the next. It is a privilege to be homesick because it means you have something worth missing. Secondly, there are many ways to manage your homesickness so that you can enjoy your university experience for everything it has to offer. University is not meant to be like home. It is made to stretch you and help mould you into the person you want to be in the future. It is an uncomfortable journey but, at times, it can be the most meaningful.
Homesickness can be managed in creating memories and making Grahamstown a home away from home. This can be done in the same manner one makes a friend. You can seek to spend time in Grahamstown and learn all the secrets the Creative City has to offer. Once you become familiar with the campus and the off-campus surroundings it’ll start to seem smaller. The smaller it gets the less intimidating it’ll seem and the less daunting coming back will be.
As you get to know the town you will be introduced to the activities it has to offer. It is important to get involved, however, increasing your stress load can also make you feel worse. Start off slowly with a commitment until you find your balance. The most important thing about this step is that you can get to grips with your surroundings, perhaps, you can make a home with the new friends that you meet. Perhaps, the laughs shall come more frequently and much more easily. The tightness on your chest will start to ease and soon living and being in Grahamstown will come as naturally as a visit to your second home.