I’m the type of person who likes to be in my comfort zone… and stay there. It is why I knew I had to go on exchange. I needed a change in my life – a chance to evolve (no, not like a pokémon).
Surprising as it may seem, going out of your comfort zone can be pretty uncomfortable (no one could have predicted this) and one of the things that you can’t really prepare for (at least in my case) is the loneliness and confusion that comes with it. Since I left home, I have been feeling homesick and it hasn’t really gone away. Whether it’s just me who has this feeling while being on exchange, or there are others as well, I don’t know. All I know is that although I have had a lot of adventures and new experiences, I do miss the joy of recognition, as in… my home, my family, and of course my boyfriend.
That being said, I believe being on exchange gives you a new perspective. When I return home, I am sure to appreciate all the little things just that bit more (at least for a little while). Of course, I might forget about it again, as most humans do eventually. But I want to remember all the feelings I have right now in this moment. Being away from home for such a long time (ten weeks isn’t even that long if you think about it) is definitely not easy. I have done it before, but somehow this time feels different. One thing I know is that the more you “distract” yourself, by surrounding yourself with people, going on trips, etc., the easier it is. Well, I’m not necessarily good at that either (though I try sometimes), but it really does help. The more activities you do, the less time you have to think about how much you miss home.
I guess what I want to say is: If anyone is reading this at all, and especially if you are an exchange student, you will get through it. Whatever experiences you have while abroad – both good and bad – they will change you, and hopefully for the better. Try to take it all in while you can even though it can be overwhelming sometimes. Make the most of your time and go explore so you will return home with no regrets. These are life lessons, and after all, if I can do it, so can you.