hey future anna! hope you're ok! I'm settling into London life and my new job pretty well, much better than i thought i would to be completely honest. i've never dealt with leaving home very well.
the first case of being homesick that i can properly remember was going on a girl guides camp when i was maybe 12 or 13, i'm not sure though. half way through the camping trip (we were there for a week, so this was about 3 nights in) i just wanted to be home. it wasn't the camping, it wasn't the cold, it was just that i was away from familiar. that night, i was in my tent with 2 friends. they were talking, and i just burst into tears and ran from the tent. i just ran, out into anything. i think i found somewhere to sit and could hear people shouting my name. i slowly headed back to my camp (the trip was for the whole of the UK and the sit was massive, think music festival!!) and went into the kitchen tent to find my guide leader. she hugged me and asked what was wrong. i simply said that i wanted my mum. gosh i always get emotional thinking about this hahah!! she replied with "I'll be your mum whilst your here" and i just said no and went to my tent. of course i enjoyed the trip, so much, i have a diary from the week and it's full of incredible adventures and friends, but it wasn't home. the day the camp ended, my sister and i were picked up by my grandad as my parents were at a wedding and i can remember so vividly knocking on my front door to see my gran open it, then my mum's car appeared, i threw my bag at my gran (sorry granny!!!!) and ran as fast as i could to my mum. i hugged her so hard.
after moving house in march 2016, i felt very very homesick for my old house. it was so awful, i asked my parents to not drive down our old street because it just made me so upset. anyway, some horrible months later, my aunty and uncle invited me to Australia for a few weeks. i traveled with my cousin on boxing day 2016 and it was seriously the best time! here is the blog post about it: http://annasnothere.blogspot.com/2017/02/call-me-from-australia.html
anyway, about 7 days into the trip, i just wanted to be at home. my mum was sending me pictures of the family playing games together and celebrating the new year, and i just wanted to be with them. i shook it out of me and told myself that this was a once in a lifetime experience, i should enjoy every minute! from then i didn't want to come back (hahah), but it made me realise that i was homesick for my family, not a building. my home is wherever my family is and ever since i have been so much happier with the move.
so yeah, i'm an emotional little homesick child but i have learnt a few tricks that help me when in a new place, and things that i've tried to do whilst in London to be able to just get on with life, rather than dwelling on something else so i thought that i would share them if anyone else needs them! especially if you're starting university, or moving out like i just have!
find places that make you feel safe (local cafe, church, ect)
this was a lot easier for me to do as my cousin lives in London so invited me to join her church. i've also grown up Methodist, so i found my local Methodist church to attend to. already i've got 2 places to go to, to feel safe and meet new people. sure, church isn't for everyone, but for me personally, it was nice to just have somewhere to go and it meant that i could explore the local area a little more. churches are also great places to start new things! i've started the choir at one church, and i'm also going to start helping with the Sunday school. it's not for everyone, but i feel that having a purpose in a new place can lead t you wanting to be here more, not focusing on what you had at home, because now you've got something new. if a church isn't for you, try and find a local cafe or park where you can sit and feel safe. whether you just sit and listen to music or take a notebook to draw or a laptop to write, try and find somewhere as well as the place you're living so you're able to escape the house, as well as have a new space to be. it may take a while to find somewhere perfect for you, but that gives you an excuse to explore the local area as well as treat yourself to a cake or two at the cafes!! i really hope you find somewhere. i'm still looking for the perfect cafe, but i've got the churches, a park i love and a cinema, so i'm happy! haha!
A follow up to this point, i feel so much safer in a place if i know the area and the roads, so one day go on a walk or take the bus! it will start to feel like home soon!
make friends/meet with people in the area so you don't feel alone
this can be a really tough one. new places can feel so so lonely, especially if it's a big place with a lot of people. i'm lucky, i came to London with my cousin just a short bus ride away and a few friends from different walks of life. it can be daunting. i guess i've not been as worried by this one as i'm very happy with my own company, and i am not worried to spend a weekend by myself or treat myself to lunch and a theatre date! haha! but it's nice to know people! if you've just started uni, try and speak to the people you're living with, even if it's just a nod and a simple hello every now and then. try and speak to everyone on your course to see where you might fit in! if you'e struggling, find a club or a society that you might like and talk to people there! there are people just like you looking for friends everywhere, don't worry! i believe you can do it! having 1 or 2 really good friends is better than having loads that you don't do anything with!
limit contact with family, call maybe 2/3 times a week rather than everyday
when i'm homesick, i just want to be with my family so much. it seems like the easiest thing to do is just be on the phone with them at all times, but personally, this isn't the answer. you need your own space to feel independent, and go and explore somewhere new without your family. i speak to my family pretty often, sometimes everyday, but for the first few weeks of being here, i tried to keep contact down because surely it's quite upsetting to be thinking about them all the time, rather than focusing on my own life. recently my mum had a meeting in London, so we met for breakfast. i cried when i saw her, but after wiping my tears, i said that i was so happy to be in London, i'm fine, i was just emotional because the tubes were delayed and there were a lot of people so i worried i wouldn't be able to see her. i thought it would be emotional to leave each other, but it wasn't. we are both very happy with our lives, and i can't be at home forever. you can do this. talk to your nearest and dearest, but don't rely on them to help you get through the day, you have to work on that yourself.
it will be fine. you will be fine. i believe in you. homesickness is normal, so so normal, it will all work out in the end. feel free to send tips if you have any! see you around future anna x