Homesickness, it’s what I’m most terrified of. I’m scared of being lonely and not having things that are comfortable. It’s what scared me most coming to Paris. In Chicago, I miss my family, my dog, my friends. I thought homesickness came with distance, and well, Paris is much further away from my hometown than Chicago is, thus, it made sense to me that the homesickness in Paris would be much worse. It’s natural, change is uncomfortable, but ultimately it’s good for you, being uncomfortable is good. Here in Paris, I was uncomfortable at first, learning new culture every day, seeing new things, meeting new people, it’s been crazy to say the least. But, whenever I talk to someone from home, they always ask me, are you homesick yet? Surprisingly, my answer has been a resounding no every time. I think because things are so new and fast and exciting, I don’t even have time to be homesick, I don’t have time to think about anything other than what’s happening in front of me. In fact, I’m more homesick in Chicago than I am in Paris. There’s something about being so uncomfortable that you don’t even have the energy to think about it. That’s been something so great about being abroad, I’m learning new things and living such a different life than I would in the United States that I can’t even equate being here with my life back home. Yes, these lives are very different, but my life in Paris doesn’t make me miss my life in the US. Another thing that I think helps is being in a homestay. Having those people there, sort of parent figures, no matter how close you are, is comforting. I’m not super close with my homestay parents, we don’t really hang out with each other outside of family dinner every night. However, they are so welcoming and so nurturing it’s been really nice to have that feeling of home. That is one positive that I can think of to being in a homestay. It might also help to buy something that will make you more comfortable in your room, I bought a teddy bear.
So my final words are this, I say as someone who missed home very often, if you are worried about being homesick, you will be okay. You’re going to have the time of your life.