Deciding to pursue education outside one’s city or abroad is one of the significant decisions that must be carefully considered. It not only requires preparedness in terms of materials but also demands non-material readiness, particularly mental preparedness for being far from home.
Mental preparedness becomes significantly important, considering several situations that might occur when being distant from family and friends who have been closely connected to our daily lives. Some of the most common experiences include:
- Feeling isolated:
Experiencing loneliness, feeling peculiar about the changes occurring, sensing solitude, and perhaps being misunderstood by many. All these feelings are normal, especially when initially in an unfamiliar city or country.
- Culture shock:
Encountering numerous new traditions, rituals, social norms, languages, and cultures that might significantly differ from your place of origin. This can create a sense of surprise and might even lead one to lose their identity if not able to adapt properly.
Longing for family in your hometown is something that will surely be experienced, especially if you’ve been close to your family before. There will always be habits at home that you’ll miss, particularly in certain situations and conditions.
Here are some things you can do to overcome negative feelings while in a new city or country:
Focus on your current situation and your achievements so far in pursuing your education. Reading motivational books or listening to inspiring podcasts can help you remember and realign with your primary goals for relocating to a different city or country.
Engage in regular physical activity. Start with light exercises like walking, then try different workouts such as aerobics, jogging, cycling, or yoga.
- Eat well:
Consume healthy food and stick to regular mealtimes. What we consume can help improve our mood and serve as a source of energy for daily activities.
- Sleep well:
Get enough quality rest. This way, you’ll have sufficient energy to engage enthusiastically in your activities. Lack of sleep can make you easily fatigued and affect your overall mood negatively.
Your mental health is crucial. If there are unresolved issues during the adaptation process in a new place, it might prolong the adjustment period. During that time, you may feel more anxious, constantly tired, undervalued, and eventually, hopeless in life. Remember how far you’ve come to achieve your goals and dreams. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help, such as counseling or therapy, if you feel the need. At the very least, try sharing your story with someone you trust.