So you’ve just come back from studying abroad and (understandably) you’re a little bummed out. You’ve just come back from the journey of a lifetime, and now you’re being forced to adjust to life back at home or school. It’s a hard adjustment, but by keeping busy and staying positive, hopefully this transition won’t be super painful. After studying abroad twice, and recently returning from a year overseas, here are my top ten tips for dealing with reverse culture shock.
Write About It
Treat yourself to a pretty journal, or start a blog. Take the time to reflect on your past few months, or however long you’ve been abroad. This is an important time of readjustment, and it can help to write down your feelings as you process them.
Scrapbooking and organizing my pictures has been a key component in keeping my post study-abroad sadness in check. It’s a healthy outlet for organizing memories in an attractive and helpful way. It can also help take up time for when your day feels emptier than the life you had before.
Keep In Contact With Your Study Abroad Friends
It is CRUCIAL to stay in contact with the friends you made studying abroad. These can be your bridesmaids one day! They’re the only ones who understand this terrific experience, and were able to witness the person you grew into during your time abroad. Reminisce and share your new life with them. Trust me, they’re here for you.
Tell Your Friends and Family About It
Talking about your adventures can make a huge difference in how you process coming home. Your friends and family want to hear all about it, and want to welcome you home. Share some details of your journey with them.
Find the Beauty in Every Day
Coming home might seem mundane and boring at first. You are no longer living in a bustling city centre with jam-packed weekends full of travel. Instead, find the little things in life that make you happy. Sometimes it can be a walk around the neighborhood, or even gardening with your mom. Find something that makes you happy, and continue to do it.
Plan Your Next Adventure
Itching to stretch your travel legs again? Start planning your next travel excursion, and how you plan on getting there. Whether it’s a road trip with your friends, or maybe a post-grad trip to Europe, you’ll have something exciting to look forward to.
Throw Yourself Into Your Work
Whether this is academic work or a part-time job, completely immerse yourself in it. After all, extra hours at your part time job will lead to more money, and that’s one step closer to more travel!
Enjoy Reconnecting With Old Friends
While you had a life-changing experience abroad, there’s no doubt you missed your friends back home and back at school. Really take the time to acclimate and reconnect with them. Being abroad has probably changed you, but these people have supported you from day one, and it will help you process by spending time with them.
Create a Schedule
Did you keep a daily schedule while you were abroad? This tactic will help at home, as structure will keep your mind off of leaving your exciting city. By establishing a schedule, you’ll work on habits in an effort to get out of the house and adjust to a life back home.