Home and Away

Moving to a new place appeals to every one of us, particularly the young. Relocating for education or work purposes is very intriguing. Although it is exciting to be in a new place, once you take the step it doesn’t always meet your expectations. We choose this change in our lives for many reasons; an idea of a new life, a different place, a better status or a simple dream. However, change is hard and requires a lot more than a beautifully coloured picture in our head. Change is the only constant in life, if we can understand that, then we will have far better chances in coping with it. 

Reality is far-fetched from perception – leaving everyone and everything you know and love behind is very scary, no matter your gender, age or race. The least significant matters may seem daunting: which internet provider shall I go for? Which part of town shall I live in? How do I make new friends? Will I meet somebody and fall in love? Will my life be one like the movies? There are many questions rushing through, yet such little time to process. No wonder we get stressed. There is so much unknown. 

When I moved to study abroad, I wish I realised then what I know now. I didn’t need to rush into settling in. There was no point in stressing myself and feeling so alone. Because slowly and one day at a time, I created a life that I loved. It takes time to settle somewhere new, and create real and meaningful relationships, so take your time and just be yourself. We rush into things thinking that’s the way we should be, forgetting our emotional ability to deal with change is much slower than everything we are experiencing. 

Remember, being strong does not mean having no feelings. It is okay to have mixed emotions about where you are and what you are doing but do not let it control your actions and behaviours. Take a step back and understand that this is temporary, and that the stress you are feeling is natural. Understand that this is your brain responding to a threat – your fears translate to threats causing you to worry and your stress levels to rise. Breathe deeply, there are others around you who are going through the same fears and worries as you. We often think that our feelings are too special and relevant only to us, no one else. But we are more similar than we think. 

Yes, sometimes it will get tough and lonely. You may feel unsettled as you adjust, and some of us are naturally more capable of dealing with change than others. Nothing lasts forever, your mind and body will adapt to your new life, you will make friends and colleagues in your own circle and other circles. So, maximize what you have now – after all there are so many new places in the world to explore, the world is very beautiful. Wherever you are, I am sure there are plenty of things around to give you happiness. Enjoy this part of your journey in life. 

Finally, if you had someone helping you in your new chapter, why not be a helping hand for someone new? After all you have been through it all and came out awesomely amazing, who else could be better than you to pass on that power to adapt to change? Being there for others will give you a beautiful sense of self-worth.

Editor’s note: It might be overwhelming to live far from home. Here are some tips for you to help yourself and your friends in need.