You can probably tell from the title of this post that the past week has been a rollacoaster ride for me! In fact, it has been the most difficult week of my work placement so far! But don't let that make you think that I have given up with the year abroad! I certainly haven't and this is why not!
Lots of people presume that the year abroad is just one big holiday and therefore an excuse to get away from lectures for a year. But don't be fooled! Homesickness does creep up on everybody at some point as I mentioned in an earlier post. Even though it is my 8th week in Grenoble now, last week I kept dreaming about being at home, felt sensitive about everything to the point that I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry, and even felt a complete loss of energy and motivation for everything I was doing. At first, I was not going to write a post about this because it seems a bit depressing but I then decided that it would be good to show you that homesickness can be defeated however awful it feels when it is there. So this was my journey to getting through a week of misery:
1. Thinking through why I felt so rubbish. I came to the conclusion that although I am really enjoying what I am doing, I am lacking a social life in Grenoble.
2. Talking to somebody at work about my feelings. This was the best move I could have taken as we came to the conclusion together that I need to go along to Grenoble University and find something that interests me. Even though I sing in a choir every tuesday, we decided that I need to do something with other international students as it would be a way to meet more people who are in the same position as me.
3. Keeping busy- I went on a trip to Voiron on sunday to have a change of scenery and a chance to have some time to myself to think things through.
4. Realising that I need to make the best of my experience whilst I am here - I am now determined to involve myself more in local activities as this will prevent me from having time to think about negative things and will enable me to practice my french even more whilst meeting more people at the same time.
So now that I have taken all of these steps, I am feeling back on track again and ready to return to being the enthusiastic and energetic erasmus student that I was up until the beginning of last week!
The main thing that I would like you to get from this post is the emphasis on the inportance of talking about homesickness if you are ever doing something like this. It is the kind of thing that can be a heavy burden to you if it is not dealt with early.
As you can see, I am back to normal now that I have really gone through the appropriate processes to defeat these unwanted feelings! Funnily enough, I read an article on the third year abroad website on sunday when I was feeling at my worst and suddenly saw beyond how I was feeling so I am very grateful toThirdyearabroad.com!
Anyway, I am through that rough patch now and will continue facing everything with maximum enthusiasm and determination! So the message is to keep fighting when things get tough! It is the quickest way to move onwards and upwards!