How Do You Deal with the Stress of Being a Student in a New Country?
It is intelligibly understandable that moving to a completely new country is a challenging and rewarding experience at the same time. However, as a new entrant, it takes a lot to finally adjust to a new country, culture, people, and environment, which is a natural process to undergo stress and homesickness. It is highly important to unravel a situation, be patient, and take proactive steps to ensure your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You must set your mind to the extent that you are not alone in such a naive journey, as there are many alike you, and it is the foremost step to use the available resources to navigate such an upheaval venture away from home.
Moreover, it is imperative that student life is, to some extent, difficult, either domestic or international, and of course, being in a new country adds more stress to life. Nevertheless, there are various strategic ways to manage your strain, gradually adapt to a new environment, and overcome mental and emotional turmoil. Here are a few steps you can embrace:
Maintain contact with loved ones
Frequently communicate with your loved ones back home by calling, using video chat, or using messaging apps. Sharing your feelings and experiences with them will help you feel better emotionally. Keeping in constant touch with those you love and care for the most will surely help reduce the trauma of being away and enhance your focus on the positive aspects, and it will undoubtedly be helpful as they will motivate, inspire, encourage, counsel, and support you in whatever situation you are in.
Create a support network and enhance socialization
Try to connect with fellow domestic or international students and be a part of student-run groups to cope with cultural shock, language barriers, homesickness, and so on. Getting connected with new people in your institution or in the community is a great way to overcome the language barrier, and internalizing the situation that everyone is going through will help you understand that you are not the only one feeling uncomfortable and isolated. Additionally, try to acquaint yourself with your classmate, who knows you may end up becoming the best and supporting friends for each other.
Also, there are a lot of common areas on campus or in the locality where you reside, which would be another great place to meet new people and interact with them to expand networking, and attending different events organized either by your institution, organization, or local community is a good opportunity to be involved with the culture of a new country, make new acquaintances, learn a new language, and start making your new surroundings more comfortable.
Explore new places
The fact is that exploring or visiting a new place would certainly lessen the distress and bring refreshment. And it is always advisable for newcomers to try to explore their new country, city, or town, whichever is possible. Exploring the surroundings is the best remedy for feeling more connected and less isolated. Interestingly, many educational institutions abroad are in captivating landscapes, so why not utilize the spare time you have to traverse around the city or natural terrain that would most likely remind you of home and ease your new distress to some extent? And familiarize yourself with different cousins, and having the opportunity to taste the food from your home country is another irreplaceable way of coping with homesickness or the state of being alone.
Keep a regular, healthy schedule
It is earnestly important to check-in and balance the well-being of your physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health, especially when you are not surrounded by your loved ones and away from home. Maintain a regular daily schedule that includes healthy behaviors like exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep. Your mental condition can be significantly impacted by your physical health. Another important way to maintain your overall well-being is to prepare food at your new residence or in your home country instead of eating out often or bringing takeout food. Staying active and maintaining your health would greatly help you deal with everything that comes your way.
Stress can be lessened by time-management skills. Set realistic goals, order your duties by importance, create a structured routine for both academic and extracurricular activities, and make efficient use of your time, which unquestionably can lessen distress and reduce procrastination. Additionally, focusing on what truly matters, creating a to-do list, and emphasizing matter-of-fact objectives amplifies productivity, work-life balance, improved decision-making, time for self-care, and adaptability. Thus, staying apart from your loved ones means you must do all by yourself, where time management vitally comes into play.
Set realistic expectations
It is crucially important to understand that undergoing the experience of homesickness or the state of being solitary is a normal phenomenon at times, and maintaining your well-being and managing anxiety are equally significant to getting the better of your present loneliness. In addition, you must be prepared to allow yourself enough time to adjust to a new environment, and the best idea is to permit your emotions and mindsets to normalize as time goes by. Furthermore, in order to minimize the level of distress, you must allocate time for self-assessment to understand your specific stress triggers, define priorities, and set smart goals by incorporating whether your aspirations are specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound or swinging away from reality.
Besides, to achieve your academic and professional new heights, you have no other options than breaking goals down, seeking support from experts or professionals, learning from the experience, taking time for self-care, and celebrating achievements regardless of whether they are big or small. These could be the best remedies to your stress.
Finally, as exciting as pursuing unexcelled education abroad sounds, it crosses our path with its own set of challenges, and you must stand firmly and give yourself a pat on the back for hoping on to this life-changing ride, as moving out of your own country and comfort zone to gain world-class education is itself a big deal. Along the way, your responsibility as a new entrant to an entirely unknown world comes to light on what triggers your stress, and you must be capable of dealing with it in a healthier manner by understanding that it is a natural process to feel in such a way and takes time to feel more at home. Over and above, just understanding the triggers behind the stress is halfway to a solution, and you should be aware of ways to deal with and reduce anxiety and distress.