Consciously recognizing change is what makes homesickness uncomfortable. It’s like a state of knowing you’re meant to be in a new place but not feeling like you belong there. Looking back on it A and J realize what helped them overcome the deficits of transition. Change is abrupt; adjustment is a process. The first step to overcome homesickness is to accept that homesickness doesn’t have much to do with home. The lack of familiarity disorients the senses and confuses the communal ‘home’ with the geographical home. You must separate the two and analyze the characteristics of the communal home you can bring along. The family photographs, stuffed animals, and do not weigh you down but ground you and providing a platform to grow from. Letting one home influence the other reduces the gap between the unfamiliar and familiar. Locating yourself within your community starts with knowing who you are and bringing along reminders of where you come from eases this process.
How did you increase the rate of adjustment into your new space?
A: “Idk, sorry bro. OH, friends? Mostly Evan cause he was like the living evidence of home. He acted like home, he was home. To be honest, if Evan wasn’t there I would have probably been more homesick”
J: “I’m not sure that it ever “increased”, but I brought lots of photos, made sure to join Hui’0 Hawai’i (the Hawaiian culture club), and brought anything that could make my room more like my old one”
Was this (the rate of adjustment) influenced by technology?
A:“Yeah. My mom and I’s relationship got much better especially since I called her a lot”
J: “Yes. Having long phone calls, texts, and Facebook chats severely helped me deal with the distance”
Looking back, how do you think being homesick affected you overall? Was it a positive experience or negative?
A: “Positive. Made me appreciate home better I suppose”
J: “Short term it was negative. But in the end, it’s positive only because it helped shape me into what I am now. I’m certainly more appreciative of time with others, and also learned to embrace the idea that time is limited”
Do you think being homesick was necessary in transitioning to Western? In other words, do you agree with the, “If you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain” mindset?
J: “Yes. There’s a lot I’ve learned through these experiences as well.
What advice do you have that might help future students transferring to a university?
A: “Appreciate your parents and the time you spend with them. Only 18 years of your life you get to spend with them, the other 50+ years you gotta spend it alone”
J: “Consider why you’re committing to the university. Establish systems that’ll help you and support you. It’ll be difficult, but it’ll be fine”