Journals from Rikkyo University, Japan
2009-11-16 Homesickness: The New Swine Flu
Me, Conor, and Meredith in Nikko
After being in Japan for about three months, it is safe for me to say that I have come down with homesickness. While it is not as notorious as swine flu, everyone that I started my study abroad experience with has some form of homesickness. For myself, my Facebook and Skype have never seen so much use as of recently. While this might not be the best way to overcome my homesickness, it does offer temporary relief. One of the other things that I have done that have been very helpful is just keeping busy. As it is almost the end of the school year, there are lots of projects, presentations, and tests that are slowly creeping up on me, so just going to the Media Center or the library and studying like crazy has kept my mind from wandering.
One of the best things that I can suggest to someone with homesickness is to escape. While I love the people that I live with in the dorm, I cannot be with them all the time. I was very fortunate to go on my first real Japanese adventure a couple weeks ago with Conor and Meredith. The three of us went to Nikko, which is about a 3-hour train ride out of Ikebukuro and we just spent the day looking at the beautiful temples and shrines, as well as the autumn colors, or as the Japanese call it, the kouyou. It was an extremely beautiful place, and I definitely want to go back again, since there was still so much more that I did not get the chance to see. But what I think was the best thing about the trip was that I got to spend it with my Linfield friends, who I barely get to see anymore. They are the closest thing to home that I have in this foreign land, and I am truly grateful that they are here with me.