Am I Homesick or Weathersick?
Weeks ago I was so jealous every time I opened Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook and was greeted by pictures and videos of sunshine, beaches, warm weather, oh did I already mention sunshine?!! All of my friends were on their spring breaks and from the looks of it, they all had so much fun! Now, don’t get me wrong, but how are the people in Ireland so friendly all of the time? Is seasonal affective disorder a thing here? Normally I don’t mind the rain, in fact, some of my favorite days are rainy Fridays. However, the rain is getting a bit redundant. Or at least it was when my friends were at the beach. Then, the week of Saint Patrick’s Day, the weather was gorgeous! And it has been for a few weeks now! (Natasha, is this where I pew pew pew?)
I think I’ve transitioned to studying abroad fairly well if I do say so myself. I was tired from traveling at the beginning so I don’t think I actually had jet lag (as for daylight savings, I’m struggling big time with that). It feels like I’m still just away at college, which I am, but instead of being an easy four-hour drive away, I’m a six/seven-hour flight across an ocean. I talk to my parents more frequently than I do when I’m at UVM, and just about the same amount with my brother.
I remember my first weeks at UVM, when I would cry while calling home because everything was so new and scary. I was definitely homesick then. I also felt trapped in the sense that I couldn’t get home at the drop of a hat. I would have to make the effort to plan a trip home, coordinating my schedule with my parents’ or catching the Megabus. It helped when I had my car sophomore year, and by junior year I was used to it. I knew the feeling of not being able to escape would come back when I went abroad, but I surprised myself when I was ok with it. Yes, I miss home, and of course I miss my family and friends, but it doesn’t feel as bad as it did freshman year. Similarly, orientation felt like freshman orientation all over again, but this time, I’m more experienced. I know how I need to keep busy as much as I need to take some time to compose myself and watch a little YouTube or read a book when I get overwhelmed.
The time when homesickness hit me the most was probably the very first night. I was thrown off by the time change, wiped out from travel, and nauseous from nerves. I tossed and turned for what felt like hours before I crashed and finally drifted off to a sound sleep. In my head I second guessed every decision I had made about study abroad and kept telling myself that I made a mistake. All I could do was remind myself that it would all be over in June. Then I woke up and told myself that I was crazy for thinking such thoughts. I was in Ireland for goodness sakes! I was going to have an experience of a lifetime and homesickness wasn’t going to stop me.
The second time that I really felt homesick was on my walk to classes a few weeks ago. The weather was a bit warm, I was actually awake, and I wasn’t running late. It was a true miracle! While I was enjoying my walk, I suddenly felt nostalgic of my past two springs at UVM. At that moment I would have given anything to be back on the Redstone campus, sitting with my friends on the grass in the middle of the afternoon, listening to some students play their guitars, and watching others of the slack lines between trees. Or I wished I was walking along South Prospect with a crisp breeze in the air and the tweets of birds in the trees. Better yet, I was daydreaming about watching the sun set over Lake Champlain and getting a creemee after. On this one walk to class I realized that maybe I wasn’t just homesick, maybe I was weathersick! Is that a real thing? I don’t know, but it certainly feels that way.
Spring break came at the perfect time because not only was I able to see my family, the weather was great too! This post was supposed to be about how much fun I had when my parents and brother visited, but instead I wrote about how much I miss my family and the sun. I guess you’ll just have to wait to hear about the Porell family reunion at a later date.
please excuse the randomness of the pictures, they are just some examples of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having!