College is Hard, You will Cry!

I know we at Al Jamiat talk a lot about all the GREAT things about college and studying in the United States. Today @unigo forwarded me this on Twitter

Judging by the Pampered, Fat-Faced Look Of You

College tour guide, passing crying student: College is hard. You will cry.

Willamette University

Salem, Oregon

via Overheard Everywhere, Apr 6, 2009

And I laughed, because oh….its so true! College IS hard! You better be ready to study! Be ready to have a difficult roommate! Prepare to share a bathroom! And for most international students, be ready to feel some culture shock and battle some homesickness.

Photo by Cafe du Monde CC License

Photo by Cafe du Monde CC License

Of course, everyone is different, and these days communicating with your parents and friends back  home is light years different from where it was just a short decade ago. Would you believe I wrote and received letters from my friends and brothers? Yes, I’m dating myself…but back in the ancient days of the mid-90’s internet was not yet widely available in Saudi Arabia, where my family was living – and we had to be content with very short phone calls and eventually, email sent through a BBS which took a day or so to arrive.

Boy was I homesick! I loved the school I attended but I can tell you honestly that second month was rough! I cried often when I got back to my dorm room, I missed my parents and brothers terribly and felt very isolated from them since I was unable to call or email and just chat. I feel that my first month at college would be very different today.

Photo by kalandrakas

Photo by kalandrakas

Things vastly improved by the time my youngest brother came to college, cell phones, cheap phone cards, high speed internet everywhere, skype and webcams made everything different.  I don’t believe he had the same sort of homesickness I did.  While these ways of keeping in touch will not make your classes easier, your roommate easier to deal with, or studying go by faster, but they can help your mental state greatly and really affect your overall performance in college.

If you are feeling very lonely and homesick and feel that it is affecting your ability to concentrate in class and on your studies, be sure to call the International Student office on your campus and ask to make an appointment to speak with someone or attend their walk-in office hours. The international student advisor will be able to help you figure out whether you need to speak with someone at your health clinic that will help you further, or maybe you just need to clear your head.

What was your experience your first semester? Where you lonely or happy to be independent? What did you do when you felt homesick?

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