Blogger Dylana Camacho Orozco from Costa Rica Keeps Her “Why” in Mind
Two months ago, I was stepping up to the gate for my first flight from Costa Rica to Colorado, USA. A week before that, I was constantly asked, “How do you feel?” “What would you miss the most?” “Is your suitcase ready?” This last one really annoyed me, it was the most asked question. In fact, they started asking me that at least five months before my trip, but I started feeling panicked when suddenly my answer changed from a “No, I still have time” to “Yes, it is almost done.”
Some days before my flight, I felt how time was going faster and how I was completely shocked without realizing that it would be my last days living in my house, sleeping in my bed and waking every morning knowing that my mom and grandma were there waiting for me. My realization moment happened when I was waving back at my mom from the registration spot in the airport. Then I knew that everything was going to be different.
Stages of Homesickness
Part of my preparation for this trip included a pre-departure session talking about homesickness and the different stages that probably we would go through.
Personally, I think the stages were a mess for me because I felt all in a limited time, so instead of feeling like I was on honeymoon I was feeling the whole crisis the second week when I got really sick for the first time and sadly wasn’t at home.
I felt even worse when I had to go to the hospital without my mom, and I couldn’t even explain to the doctor what happened to me. After those hard days, I was still in a realization space where you don’t feel anything and it starts being a routine where you don’t feel either fine or bad. After some days, I started to look in a positive way about my surroundings and that’s what I could consider as my adjustment process.
Now, I know that homesickness is commonly talked about, but sometimes it doesn’t happen in an organized way like in the diagram above. Sometimes it takes more time than some weeks, or sometimes it is presented as a mix of feelings without a label. As far as I’m concerned, the importance of this shouldn’t be centered in the stages of homesickness but in the way of overcoming them.
Personally, I believe that homesickness is not something that you can get rid of, it's something you learn to live with, but it absolutely can be eased according to your own rhythm. In my experience, a positive attitude is the best way to overcome problems. Right now you could be missing your home but imagine all the great moments that you lived there and that now you have to create your own path experimenting with new things and new environments. Since I started talking more with people now I feel a part of their group, and I got friends to do interesting things together with.
Also, I started working on campus, which helped me a lot to meet new people and to be focused on other things than being worried about my home country.
If you’re struggling with homesickness I just want to tell you that you are going to get adjusted here, and once you do that, you will start to enjoy your new lifestyle. It takes time but once you understand that you are here for an important reason your whole perception changes. As my professor said “it is a 10% how and 90% why,” so remember why you are here and keep focused on your purpose. That has been working for me!
See you in the next blog!
Dylana Camacho Orozco from Costa Rica is an international student at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.
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