It’s been a really long since I was back in my home country, Pakistan. The last time I was there, my meals were still catered for, I hadn’t received a single module result and I didn’t know how to ride a bicycle. To be precise, I only went back once in December 2018 after having started my course here at York earlier that year. Dealing with homesickness is something that I have had to do.
All this time, I’ve been approximately 4500 miles away from home. Last summer, I had to plans to visit, back but due to work experience and summer school commitments, I didn’t travel back. In the winter, I was overwhelmed by my assignments and had promised myself to go back in March. I then found in March out that there were travel restrictions due to Covid-19. This has delayed my return even more. Having been away for so long for the first time, I didn’t really know that I would get homesick. I thought that it wouldn’t have had much of an impact on things. But, it was only after the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown that I realised how much I miss home. There were other reasons too, such as feeling disconnected with my family members and friends, along with general stuff going on back home. So, having put all that into perspective, I’d like to share what I’ve done to deal with this homesickness.
First of all, talking to my parents everyday via video call has really helped me stay close to them. Being the only child, I understand that I have responsibilities. If it’s tough for me, then it is definitely tough for them as well. These frequent conversations (even during exam season) have helped me stay connected with my pet dog, Rex, as well! My Amma (mother) shares videos of him and what he’s up with me to all the time. These videos make me so happy and help me find perspective as well.
Doing what you love
Another thing that has helped me a lot with homesickness is cooking. From cooking the most flavoursome curries to having a go at baking, I’ve tried it all. I’ve even learnt how to knead my own dough to make ‘Roti’ (bread). I like to cook regularly and for that purposes, I’ve got a shelf full of different spices (and another full of refills). My favourite dish in Chicken Karahi and I’ve tried making it with different recipes. I’ve now got my own recipe which is a blend of all the recipes I’ve tried, in addition with a ‘secret ingredient’ that I mistakenly added (but made it purely scrumptious)!
Exploring the city
Something that has contributed more than anything in helping me deal with homesickness is York itself. I feel like I’ve made a connection with this place. I’ve learnt to cook here, I’ve learnt to cycle here, I’ve lived independently here and I’ve learned a lot. Although it’s a very beautiful and small city, there’s a lot to explore. I’ve cycled 15 miles a day around York and seen some of the most aesthetic sights. Why not take a look at some of York’s cycle routes? Assuredly, York has been very welcoming and by now even a small stride down to the supermarket is a great stress reliever. I love the city for all the good reasons and it is safe to presume that after I move out of here next year, I might be dealing with homesickness for York, my second home.
Take a look at some of our other blogs on dealing with homesickness.