Journals from Hong Kong Baptist University
2010-11-01 Depression Month 10/31/10
October has been a strange month. For the sake of capturing the general feeling of October in one title, I’ve dubbed October “Depression Month.” We could tell within the first week of this month that something had suddenly changed around campus. The temperature dropped and the spirit of the exchange students at HKBU did, as well. Six weeks had passed before the momentum of being in a foreign city finally slowed down. Suddenly, many students became incredibly irritable, tense, or sad. I’m still amazed at how homesickness simultaneously affected the exchange students. Homesickness spread like the flu (which also spread during this month and made the former even worse). After the excitement of touring the city and exploring new places passed, we had to face the routine of daily life. It was as if we were suddenly struck with the realization that we aren’t vacationing in Hong Kong, rather, we are living in it. Additionally, in October the work load for classes increased while deadlines for papers, presentations, and mid-terms speckled the calendar. October reinforced the idea that we are on study abroad. Classes and stress without the comforts of home, essentially. This tone isn’t meant to scare potential exchange students from studying abroad, but it’s to prepare you for an experience that may not continually excite you and the routine that comes with living in the same place for an extended period of time. However, inevitably, Depression Month must come to an end. As the October wore on, exchange students began to emerge from their downcast stupor and embrace a new attitude that comes with knowing we’ve already completed half of our study abroad experience and have only a handful of weeks to go. November is going to be a different month!